The world is truly obsessed with the Arab-Israeli conflict.
This can be illustrated best by how little the world seems to care about other violent nationalist conflicts.
Take, for example, this news piece: “Tamil Tiger rebels ‘kill 53’ soldiers”. About a third of the way into the BBC article comes this statistic: “At least 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict.” The time frame, provided a couple of paragraphs later, is 25 years.
According to various online sources, including B’Tselem, an Israeli NGO collecting statistics, and a UN agency with a predictably long and unnecessarily complex acronym – OCHAoPt (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Occupied Palestinian Territory) – over a twenty year period, 1987-2007, the total number of both Palestinian and Israeli casualties of the conflict is around 7,500.
(And here’s a question: Why is Gaza even still included as part of the Occupied Territories? After 2004’s controversial and bitter evacuation of permanent Israeli security forces from Gaza and 2005’s subsequent election of Hamas, is there a reason Israel is still considered an occupier?)
The twenty-year time period includes both intifadas – the two periods, outside of wartime, where violence was most rampant in the region.
Yet, still, the casualties figure is close to ten times less than in the Sri Lankan conflict.
Is there even a point is posing the obvious question “why”? Why the discrepancy? In attention, in focus, in condemnation, in humanitarian aid?
Apparently the Orwellian proverb – albeit slightly modified – still holds true: All conflicts are born equal, but some are more equal than others.