The Russia-Ukraine conflict which had been on the boil since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, exploded into a full-fledged military conflageration on February 24 when Russia invaded Ukraine.
Since then, the media has been fixated on the fallout of the conflict with all major news providers, be it the ‘BBC/CNN’ broadcasters to Russia’s ‘rt.com’ covering this particular conflict in great detail to the detriment of many other important events.
According to the UN around 5,186,744 persons are believed to have fled their homes in Ukraine since the conflict began.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 5,381 civilian casualties in the country – 2,435 killed and 2,946 injured.
According to the American Friends Service Group (‘Quaker’ group), today there are over 7 million Palestinian refugees scattered around the world.
Another 427,000 Palestinians remain internally displaced persons (IDPs), while 6,400–6,700 Palestinians have been wiped out.
On November 17, 1947, the State of Palestine was divided into Israel and Palestine by the UN.
Today, 75 years later, Israel continues its process of swallowing up large chunks of Palestinian territory demolishing Palestinian homes confiscating farms and fields and re-settling Jewish settlers in their stead.
The state of Israel also limits the quantity of drinking water consumed by Palestinians, as well as the volume of water they can use in their fields.
For example, in many herding communities in the West Bank, the water consumption for thousands of Palestinians is as low as 20 litres per person a day, according to the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In contrast, an average Israeli consumes approximately 300 litres of water a day.
Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have accused Israel of “committing Crimes Against Humanity, of apartheid and persecution” against the Palestinians.
Michael Lynk, the UN Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967 reported the number of Palestinian children killed as a result of Israeli violence in 2021 was the highest since 2014.
But the UN which has backed the imposition of sanctions against Russia for its Ukranian invasion, remains a silent and ineffective spectator at events unfolding in Palestine.
Under cover of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which have hogged the coverage international events, many continuing heinous acts by Israel, against Palestinians have received almost no attention in the media. Similarly many other disasters are droping off the UN radar. As for example the war in Yemen…
In March this year, the UN announced that Yemen was facing a dire hunger crisis which was teetering on the edge of outright catastrophe as a result of the ongoing conflict in that country.
More than 10,200 children have been killed or maimed. An estimated 2 million children are internally displaced and more than 2 million children are out of school. By March 2022, around 17.4 million people were in need of food assistance; with a growing portion of the population coping with emergency levels of hunger. The fate of Yemen is hardly even heard of these days.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine the war has been used as a cover to hide many a heinous crime being perpetrated in different parts of the world.
Many an observer of international events have been left aghast at the difference in treatment of perpetrators of violence on weaker opponents as for instance the example of Ukranians and the Palestinians.
We have seen how Ukranians tossing Moltov coktails at Russian invaders are considered heroes, while the Palestinians who hurl stones at Israeli occupiers are referred to as ‘terrorists and shot dead.
In a different context, amid weighty international developments which could end up in a catestrophic war, little Sri Lanka is facing its moment of truth.
Ever since independence, corruption, family bandism, nepotism and racism had taken toll of our country’s financial reserves and resources. The country is today on the brink of bankruptcy.
However a silver lining has appeared amid the dark clouds that surround us. Our countrymen and women normally in conflict with each other, have joined hands, irrespective of race, religion and ethnicity to unite as one people – citizens of Lanka – to throw out a corrupt set of rulers.
Disclaimer: Ukraine and Palestine; A tale of two states - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view