Worlds apart…

Television news programs referred to «scenes of horror in London» following the July 7 explosions, and indeed the images were horrific – but not any more so, one would imagine, than the scenes in Iraq or the Palestinian territories. The difference with the latter is that we do not get such widespread or intense exposure to them. But the difference is not only in the projection of these images; even when we do get to witness the horror of the Middle East on our TV screens, it is very different from the horror of London, Madrid or New York. The point is that the residents of these cities are closer to us. Even if we disagree with their beliefs, they still live within a social and cultural framework that is comparable to our own, and we are very conscious of this. When the citizens of these cities become the victims of terrorist attacks, we are able to identify with them. However, we do not have the common experience that would allow us to identify with residents of the Gaza Strip in the same way, however much we may support their cause. Then, of course, there is fear. Following the London attacks, we all worried that our city could become a subsequent target. But we would not feel such anxiety following a similar attack on Basra. Our circumstances are simply too different to allow us the sense of a similar threat….

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