Search This Blog

Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Wrong Side of the Barricades or Why East Ukrainian victims are ignored

Vera Graziadei

Two days ago the UN’s website published Ban-Ki Moon’s condemnation of Israel’s attack on Gaza, during which almost 1,300 people have been killed, 6,000 wounded and 140,000 displaced and hosted by the UN.

A-list celebrities Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Pedro Almodovar denounced Israel’s attack on Gaza in an open letter, while earlier  Israeli film-makers called for an end to Gaza Conflict. Brian Eno wrote a heart-wrenching letter about Gaza and The Loss of Civilization.

It’s not just the political and cultural elites that are expressing their disgust at Israel’s actions. There is a widespread outrage amongst the international public. Social media is overfilled with posts about Gaza with even the most apolitical people expressing their shock and horror. The protest is not confined to sofa activism – thousands of people around the globe, from Sydney to Mexico, took part in a worldwide protest against Israeli attack on Gaza.

This outrage against Israel, reverberating throughout our planet, is totally justified in the face of such a large number of Palestinian casualties, including more than 240 children.  A Guardian front page succinctly summarised the situation – “The world stands disgraced.”

So the question that I have is this: how can the world be outraged about over 1000 civilian death toll in Gaza, but not about a similar death toll in Donbass, an Eastern part of Ukraine where the Ukrainian army has been fighting anti-Kiev government rebels?

The numbers of casualties in Gaza and East Ukraine are almost the same. As many as 1,129 people have been killed and 3,442 injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the anti-terrorist operation in mid-April 2014 until July 26, according to a UN report.

However, in this report the focus is on condemning the abductions and tortures performed by local criminals, who re-branded themselves as members of the Donetsk People’s Republic, and not on condemning Ukrainian government, who are firing Grad rockets at residential areas, as reported by Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch has issued two reports on the use of Grad rockets by the Ukrainian Army, calling for the end of indiscriminate rocket attacks (Ukraine: Unguided Rockets Killing Civilians: Stop Use of Grads in Populated Areas), which, they cautiously state, ‘may amount to war crimes’. Why such caution in the face of such atrocities?

Read more

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...