Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More Double Standards?

Melanie Phillips draws our attention to the suffering of civilians under Sri Lankan bombardment. "Hospitals have been repeatedly shelled. Thousands of civilians have been trapped and unknown numbers have died. The BBC says more than 70,000 people have been killed in this conflict, while the United Nations says it thinks 265,000 people have been displaced."

"Sure, there are some protests. But where are the calls by academics or trade unions to boycott Sri Lanka? Where are the denunciations of Sri Lankan ‘atrocities’ by the bishops and archbishops of the Church of England? Where are the passionate and emotive TV documentaries about the plight of the Tamils, the one-sided grillings of the Sri Lankans on the Today programme, the front page splashes and multi-part newspaper features on the Sri Lankans’ supposed breaches of international law, the NGOs’ appeals for humanitarian aid for the besieged Tamils, the attempts by human rights lawyers to prosecute Sri Lanka’s military for ‘war crimes’? No, all these things are reserved instead for Israel, which has demonstrably gone out of its way to avoid civilian casualties as far as humanly possible and yet upon whose imagined crimes against humanity the western intelligentsia – which has barely bestirred itself over the Tamils -- obsessively dwells."

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