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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Kurds, Palestinians and Somalia

I am many things, but an expert on Turkey and the Kurds is not one of them. I was saddened to read this story about eight Turkish soldiers being killed in a suspected PKK attack. The BBC says: "There has been an increase in Kurdish rebel attacks since July." I don't recollect hearing anything about that, which is doubtless my fault...The BBC also says that "more than 40,000 people have been killed in the violence" since 1984. This compares to 51,000 people having been killed in the Arab/Israeli conflict between 1950 and 2007. Given the numbers of deaths involved, why do we consider the (tragic) Arab/Israeli conflict to be so much worse than that involving Turkey and the Kurds? Why do we not allocate equal effort to resolving both of these conflicts? 

When I am told that the Palestinians' situation is a particular source of anger around the world, I have to ask why the conflict in Somalia (not the famine, but the conflict) is not an equal or greater source of anger, given what Human Rights Watch has said about it this week? The BBC reports that thousands of Palestinian refugees have been forced to flee a refugee camp in Syria, under attack by the Syrian Government. If Israel was attacking these same Palestinian people, the crowds would be out in Trafalgar Square in protest. I see no crowds today. Could someone explain to me why this is?

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