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Sat Nov 18, 2023, 03:07 PM Nov 18

Eyes on Everywhere Else: Sudan, Pakistan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Eastern Congo

Eyes on Everywhere Else: Sudan, Pakistan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Eastern Congo
11/13/2023 by Jill Filipovic
Power brokers often focus their attention on nations that are seen as the most strategically important—while ignoring vast human suffering of people deemed inconsequential.

A volunteer in Salerno, Italy, helps a woman to disembark from the Medecins Sans Frontieres NGO’s ship Geo Barents, docked with 258 migrants on board (26 of whom are unaccompanied minors) from Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Sierra Leone and Pakistan. (Antonio Balasco / Kontrolab / LightRocket via Getty Images)

This story originally appeared on Jill.substack.com, a newsletter from journalist, lawyer and author Jill Filipovic.

The brutal war in Gaza has understandably captured the world’s attention, including mine. But, unfortunately, human suffering isn’t confined to a narrow strip of land on the Mediterranean.

As news outlets focus the vast majority of their international reporting on the war in Gaza, and as world leaders focus the vast majority of their attention and resources on the war (ad as some of them fund it), it’s important for the rest of us to not get tunnel vision—to remain outraged at the utter devastation in Gaza, while staying attentive to other conflicts and to other people who are suffering, and to demand that world leaders also act on their behalf, too.

This is a big ask. With the unbelievably vicious attacks on Israeli civilians and now the abject misery being rained down on Gaza, I imagine many of us feel profound despair; I certainly can’t look at the news without feeling physically ill, and I’ve been finding it difficult to think or write about anything else.

But the world is not confined to Israel and Palestine, and it should be possible to give that conflict the attention and outrage it deserves—which is a lot—while not treating other people as trivial or disposable because they happen to live in places that are not as geopolitically relevant to U.S. interests, or are not as psychologically or biologically tied to as many Americans and Europeans, or are not as connected to the American and European telling of history. Empathy, in other words, is not a finite resource. Neither is anger. Neither are demands for action.

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