A nuclear power is waging an endless war on a tiny area that wants to gain its freedom from the big and powerful neighbor. There is a forced and cruel displacement of people from the lands they have inhabited forever, a genocide. The nuclear power is using anti-Muslim sentiments to consolidate the persecution of the people who fight for independence. The inhabitants of the small area are using terrorism to defend their right to independence, bringing their acts of terror into the very heart of the powerful conqueror. The appalling poverty plagues the people who have almost lost all hope for having a state of their own. The land has been destroyed by endless war.
Of course, you must have realized by now that I’m talking about Russia and Chechnya, right?
As the recent flare-up of the conflict between Israel and Palestine intensifies, everybody is plastering their Facebook pages, blogs, and Twitter feeds with (often quite disturbing) photos and cartoons that reference the conflict. Friendships crumble as people take objection to the way their acquaintances portray what is happening. Articles on the subject abound. People snap at each other at work and at home as pressures rise and everybody’s opinion becomes more passionately entrenched.
As I observe what is going on, I keep wondering why this specific conflict provokes such intense feelings. There are many similar conflicts taking place in other parts of the world but nobody seems to care, or at least not nearly as much. Whenever I mention the word “Chechnya”, I see people’s eyes glaze over with boredom. Yet any reference to Israel makes everybody sit up and pay attention.
Could anybody explain why this is happening? Why do you personally care more about Israel and Palestine than about Russia and Chechnya?