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May 19, 2009

Stephen King Considers Media's Israel Fixation

Stephen King considers real horror stories playing out around the world:

Millions of black Africans have died in Congo in the past decade, well below most people’s radar.

Sri Lanka has had a bit of a focus in recent weeks – though hardly the minute-by-minute wraparound coverage Gaza had in January. How many of us were really aware of the fact that more than 80,000 people have died in a quarter of a century of civil war? . . .

The same could be said about Chechnya. The Russians have just announced the end of their "counter-terrorism" operation. There are no solid figures for the number of civilians killed since the second war began there in late 1999, but estimates range anywhere between 25,000 and 200,000.

Put that in context. Israel might be geographically small – smaller than Munster – but in population terms Chechnya is absolutely tiny. A region with a little more than one million inhabitants has seen anything up to one-fifth of its civilian population killed in two decades of war. And one school siege aside, we have largely looked the other way.

By comparison, 6,000 Palestinians – armed and civilian together – out of a Palestinian population in the territories three to four times that of Chechnya have died since the second intifada of 2001.

King then considers a number of possible explanations for the media's disproportionate focus on Israel, and concludes:

Gaza for breakfast, back to the pool at the American Colony Hotel in time for tea, and pick up an attractive girl or strapping lad at a bar after dinner. Same again tomorrow, please. Just try doing that in Darfur.

Posted by TS at May 19, 2009 04:36 AM


Does anyone know how dangerous it was to live in Sri Lanka because of the tigers? Suicide bobmings...Now all western countries are worried about actions of tigers. THEY HAVE BEEN BRANDED AS A TERRORIST GROUP: I wander whether all these western countries are going to let people protest on behlaf of Bin Laden when he is dead....

This is western hypocrizy...Tigers tried bribe Bush administration ...tried to buy missles..I guess not they managed to Bribe Hillary Clinton and especially David Milliband.

Is UK going to pay for the civilian deaths during colonial times (1940's) in ten s of thousands...just stop the BS western world

Posted by: Johnt at May 19, 2009 05:10 AM

I don't think this Stephen King is the novelist.

Posted by: Martin Kramer at May 19, 2009 01:27 PM

The column quoted above is not by the American novelist Stephen King; it's by the Irish newspaper columnist Stephen King, a former advisor to the Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble.

Posted by: Derick Schilling at May 19, 2009 01:42 PM

Corrected. Thanks.

Posted by: GI at May 19, 2009 06:04 PM

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