From July 8, 2014 to the day I’m writing this article, media all over the world have kept a sharp lookout on Israel and Gaza. The simple, popularized and manichean perception of an “asymetrical” conflict where the highly armed and protected Zionists is massacring the Palestinian, therefore Muslim populations has naturally affected all consiences, even those that are not involved or informed, all over the world.
The sympathy and support expressed for the Gaza population has even surpassed the usual scope of the Arab countries or countries opposed to Israel. The social era we live in has experienced unprecedented movements that have plastered the screens of those using Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Millions of tweets, comments and discussions have been published during the conflict and thousands of groups and pages have confronted partisans from both sides. The internet has been the silent frontline whose scope has generated movements like none other we have seen before.
As for the traditional media (TV, radio and press), the editorial field has been 80% occupied with the conflict, and journalism has become a battleground where much ink has been spilled.
As for politics, few are those who have been spared; representatives of nations, political parties and syndicates have been mobilized such as for great national causes or great social combats.
In a wider sense, the entire international community has been disrupted by chain reactions and an impressive number of countries have raised their voices, sent emissaries or exploited their networks of influence in order to put an end to what some are calling a crime against humanity, or even a genocide.
Finally, few conflicts in history since the world wars have gripped the population this much, especially the Muslim minorities in western countries who have felt affected by the destiny of their “Palestinian brothers” and who have mobilized like never before all over the world to denounce the massacre committed by the Zionist entity. This mobilization has intensified the rejection of Zionism – and its legitimate representative, Israel – very violently, and many demonstrations have taken place all over the world, some of which have escalated into violent riots, or sometimes verbal or physical aggression against Jews, lumped together de facto with Israel. The call to boycott the Jewish State has been extended for the first time to certain stores designated as Jewish in Europe, or inversely, some stores have been made off limits to Zionists, i.e. Jews.
As of August 8, 2014, one month after the start of the conflict, this conflict between Israel and Hamas has had 1,843 dead Palestinians and 66 Israelis. This is the factual truth.
Now is where I get controversial – very controversial. I’m going to consider that the conflict between Israel and Hamas never took place.
I’m going to forget for a while the very existence of the conflict, the dead, the wounded, the air raids and rockets – none of this has taken place at all.
So if nothing happened between Israel and Hamas from July 8 to August 8, 2014, what really happened?
There have been other wars, other casualties and other human dramas. Have you been following the news? Or rather, has the news reached you? Do you have a sufficiently wide and precise scope of reading over these 30 days? You don’t?
Indeed, except for the Football World Cup in Brazil, I bet that very few of us can remember anything else besides images of Gaza or stories having to do with it. This sort of collective, selective amnesia has affected all of us, and I sense that you are upset by this observation. You’ve tried concentrating, seeking and thinking – only nothingness.
Don’t worry, I’ve done the work for you. It was very long and detailed, but I’ve uncovered, scoured and analyzed the news. I’ve gone and gathered all the sources, no matter how far-flung they are from me. After nearly 24 hours of collection, I was able to come up with a raw tally of the victims (in countries in conflict or in political instability) during the period from 08/07/2014 to 08/08/2014:
It should be noted that while your eyes have been glued to Israel and Gaza, the world has continued to tally its dead, wounded, violence, persecutions, killings and massacres.
Here, I have not listed all the causes of death of every victim counted, but with the conflicts, repression, confrontations and attacks, the world has experienced the worst of it, with or without Gaza.
Now, and in order to complete my work on this morbid census, I had to understand its reasons, so I’ve focused on the geopolitics of the conflicts, which has given the following observations:
- Afghanistan: Islamist jihadist uprising (Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other armed Islamist jihadist groups)
2. Pakistan: Islamic uprising (Taliban, Al-Qaeda)
3. Iran: Repression of the power in place (Shiite) with the aid of Hezbollah, against the people.
4. Iraq: Sunni Islamic uprising against the power in place and the population (Shiite) (Hamas in Iraq, the Free Iraqi Army and ISIL – the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, etc.) tied to Al-Qaeda.
5. Syrie: Civil war between the Allawi power backed by the Shiite Hezbollah against the Islamic Front (Salafi Sunni) and ISIL, the SLA (Syrian Liberation Army) is no longer the majority.
6. Lebanon: Flare-up in the country stemming from the official support of the Shiite Hezbollah of Syrian leadership. Attacks on groups of Salafi Sunnis.
7. Egypt: Terrorist attacks by pro-Hamas Islamist groups in reaction to the central military power in place that had overturned the Islamic Brotherhood.
8. Lybia: Islamic insurrection caused by jihadist groups.
9. Sudan (Darfour): Ethnic cleansing of the power in place supported by Janjawid Arab militias against non-Arabic speaking black African tribes.
10. Tunisia: Attacks and confrontations provoked in order to destabilize the country by radical Salafi Islamist groups, especially AQMI (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the Tunisian branch of Al-Qaeda).
11. Algeria: Attacks and confrontations provoked in order to destabilize the country by AQMI.
12. Mali: Islamic uprising by armed Salafi groups claiming for independence from the power in place.
13. Nigeria: Islamist uprising carried out by Boko Haram (“Western education is sinful”). Salafi jihadist Sunni movement aiming to establish Shariah law. Massacres and persecution of Christians.
14. Cameroon: Extension of the insurrection carried out by Boko Haram in the north of the country: violence, kidnappings, etc.
15. Central African Republic (CAR): Confrontations initiated by Seleka Muslim militias. Retaliations by Christian self-defense groups. Ethnic cleansing on both sides against Christian and Muslim civilians.
16. Uganda: Attempts to destabilize the country by the Somali Islamist group Al-Chabaab, tied to Al-Qaeda. Attacks in the middle of the capital city during the World Cup. 74 dead (the deadliest in 12 years in Eastern Africa).
17. Kenya: Extension of the actions by the Islamist group Al-Chabaab to get revenge on the powers that be that supported Somalia. Huge terrorist attacks in a shopping center and in a discotheque in the capital city.
18. Somalia: Islamic uprising of the group Al-Chabaab, which controls half the country.
19. Yemen: Islamic uprising. Fierce repression of the power in place. Crisis between Sunnis and Shiites.
20. Thailande: Islamic uprising carried out by jihadist Islamist groups against the power in place.
21. Philippines: Islamist uprising carried out now partly by the armed Islamist group Abu-Sayyaf, closely tied to Al-Qaeda. Massacre on July 28 of 21 Muslims, including 1 child, who were going to Eid.
22. China: Islamic uprising by the Islamic Movement in eastern Turkestan, closely tied to Al-Qaeda. Knife attacks in August 2014: 100 dead.
23. Donbas: Territorial conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
24. Highland Karabakh: Territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Based on these facts, it should be noted that out of 24 ongoing conflicts:
Only 2 are territorial conflicts.
2 have to do with governmental repression against the people.
Therefore, 83% of the conflicts can be blamed on uprisings carried out by armed Islamist groups.
The big picture is drawn out and is incontrovertible, showing the extremely marked action of insurrectional Islamic movements aiming to establish Shariah law over part of the world, and doing so with violence.
The 3rd step of this analysis is to look at all these conflicts not over 30 days, but over their entire period of existence. This observation lets us know the number of victims of each of them:
The observation is once again incontrovertible, and it should be specified that this study only accounts for the countries where victims have been counted during the period being studied. Other countries are also victims to violent Islamist insurrections: India, Comoros, Maldives, the Caucasus, Russia, Chechnya, Myanmar, Turkey, Kashmir, Ethiopia, etc.
Faced with this unprecedented worldwide movement, we might ask several questions, which are perhaps rhetorical, but are still questions. To do this, let’s reintegrate the Israeli-Hamas conflict into our analysis.
1. How long can the West turn a blind eye to the very nature of Hamas’ motivations and still think that it defends the interests of the Palestinians even though the movement is only an extension of a jihadist trend on a worldwide scale?
2. Many consider the Israeli intervention as at least having caused a “crime against humanity” and at worst, a “genocide”, but what about the situations described above? Why doesn’t 80% of ongoing conflicts, where jihadist Islamic forces or wars between Sunnis and Shiites are involved, affect public opinion? Or even less so the very Muslim minorities that feel closely tied to their Palestinian “brothers” or the leftist fronts unanimous in denouncing human barbarism?
3. Why doesn’t the Yarmouk Camp in Syria, where only 20% of the 150,000 Palestinian refugees live and where 2,900 Palestinians were massacred during the war, raise an ounce of indignation from the Muslim minorities who feel closely tied to their Palestinan “brothers”, or the leftist fronts unanimous in denouncing human barbarism?
4. Why doesn’t the closing of borders to Palestinian refugees from Syria by Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, delivering its population to massacre, raise the indignation of the Muslim minorities who feel closely tied to their Palestinian “brothers”, or the leftist fronts unanimous in denounding human barbarism?
5. Why is there such a wide gap between the rate of media coverage and political and civil preoccupation with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that of the Islamist insurrectional conflicts all over the world?
6. Why is it so difficult to establish a count of victims of Islamist insurrection in the world, while this very count is made every day of the victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
7. Why are the public and media opinion only affected now that there is persecution against the Christian minorities in the world, even though they have been the most persecuted out of anyone since the beginning of these Islamist insurrections?
With regard to the legitimate questions I’m asking, and those I’ve quite certainly forgotten, one fact remains true and incontrovertible.
Israel has indeed (again) lost the media battle. This failure, according to some, still has had one victory: having been able to protect itself thanks to an extremely modern system (the Iron Dome) to which each Israeli, both Arab and Jewish, owes their lives. With this reasoning, we might think that the thousands of rockets that have continuously fallen on the country since the beginning of the hostibility (not to mention those continuously launched on the South since 2001) , would have certainly led to worse if they had not been intercepted, thereby causing hundreds or thousands of deaths, making Israel benefit from a more positive position in international, public and media opinion.
I say this is false.
Even though Israel has communicated its ethics and has shown images of operations cancelled at the last minute.
Even though Israel has carried out interventions where it only warned the population a few minutes beforehand so that fewer Palestinian civilians would be killed in air raids.
Even thow several journalists from different countries have witnessed and broadcast images proving that Hamas sends rockets into highly-populated urban residential areas or into sensitive areas, thereby using civilian populations as human sheilds.
Even though BBC and The New York Times have broadcast the report from the Office of the High Commissioner of the United Nations of Human Rights (OHCHR), in which the proportion of civilians in the total count of victims was strongly reduced and therefore called into question.
Even though for one month, Hamas showed that it could have attacked anywhere in Israel at any time, forcing the civilian population to live in paranoia, significantly impacting the entire economy of the country.
Even though Israeli intervention has destroyed about thirty tunnels which directly threatened the Israeli population in the South, and more widely, all of Israel.
Even though Hamas is recognized by the West as a terrorist movement…
… no matter Israel’s position, its right to legitimate defense or its military stance, the judgement remains undeniably disproportionate and the summary remains biased.
My final question would completely logically be, “Why?”
An article in Slate in December 2012 attempted to answer this question: “Why do Syrian deaths empassion people less than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?” Several factores have been mentioned in the media:
- The natural capacity of a drama, war or natural disaster monopolizes attention by western media for about 10 days.
- The inability to understand the Syrian conflict with the summary used for the “Facebook” revolution of Tunisia and Egypt. Indeed, since the conflict in Syria is so complex, the good guys are not necessarily only good and the bad guys are not necessarily only bad.
- The guilt felt for colonization, pushing the West to support week and alieanated populations
- The guilt felt for the Holocaust, causing the feeling of some relief of removing this guilt from the western world.
I would add to these 4 factors the only reason lacking, even though it is often ignored or even denied: the only one that most politicians, media and civilian societies do not dare truly speak about:
Antisemitism is a millenium-old and redundant factor from an unwell world.