‘The hall is almost full but I can see some empty seats, said a speaker at the opening of the International AIDS conference in Melbourne on 20th July 2014. Six delegates who were on their way to the conference were on MH 17- the ill-fated flight that was shot down. The conference mourned for its delegates and all 298 people who perished in the Malaysian plane crash.
Samesh, a four-year-old boy was shot down by an Israeli tank while plying in the garden of his home in Gaza. Heart breaking images of dead and injured children as well as adults are doing the rounds on social media. Over 1000 people, mostiy civilians, have been killed since the conflict began on 8 July. Killing by the Israeli forces continues unabated while the world watches.
What can one say to the families of those who died in Gaza and in the MH 17 crash? Would any words of condolence suffice? None of these people should have died.
It is time to ask ourselves some hard questions: Is the international diplomacy failing? Would the economic sanctions on Russia and the temporary cease-fire in Gaza be enough? It is certain that the world is doing too little to stop actions that are taking innocent lives. Right to life continues to be violated. There are many forums to discuss human rights violations but less to take concrete action against those who violete them.
Efforts to resolve the Ukraine-Russian conflict and stop Israeli attacks on Gaza strip have been far from adequate. All of us should be united in finding solutions to the crisis. The life of a child in Gaza is as precious as that of a child from anywhere in the world. Silence is not an option. These innocent deaths may be the acts of few but they go unchecked due to inaction on the part of majority. While the EU and USA are joining hands to apply economic sanctions against Russia; similar action does not seem to be under consideration for Gaza. The US congress is all set to clear $ 225 million to Israel to boost its iron Dome missile defence system. Ironically, the Obama administration is pressing for a cease-fire in Gaza but it has backed the Israel’s request to replenish its missile defence stockpiles, knowing well that these missiles have killed civilians more than the so called militants.