Over the past twelve months there has been a stunning turnaround in the international fortunes of Russia and Vladimir Putin. If we think back to the beginning of the Edward Norton scandal, it became clear that there was very little that the world could do to stand in his way.
Now, under twelve months later and with Crimea, East Ukraine and potentially a commercial aircraft shooting coming in quick succession, it has been relatively easy for the international community to start imposing economic sanctions against Russia. It was unthinkable, but then enough became enough.
What about Israel?
I’m not going to try and tackle the rights or wrongs of the situation, who started what and when or any of the other long-running issues that could be discussed when mentioning Palestine and Israel.
Rather than being pro one side or the other I am pro peace and against bombing or shooting innocent civilians. (I’ll just add a couple of links to back up my position – mainly for potential readers in the future that might not know the current context – here, here and here).
At what point does the switch flick and enough becomes enough? When will the world have seen enough death and destruction of the civilian population to start doing something about it? As the last link suggests, civilians are unable to shelter in schools, hospitals or UN buildings with any sort of safety.
When will Israel become a rogue state? As is mentioned in the last link above, “Asked repeatedly whether Israel would be held accountable for possible war crimes, Mr. Eliasson [deputy Secretary General of the UN] would say only: â€śThe scale of the response is of such a violent nature, questions of accountability come up.â€ť”
Just ten minutes spent on almost any thinking person’s twitter of facebook feed will yield at least one link about the situation. Unlike previous situations in the Middle East, the general public really has a feel for what is happening and the majority of everyone is not impressed. One presumes that if there are not yet calls being made to elected representatives to “do something”, there will be soon.
What impact public pressure really can have, who knows. We might just find out soon.
Of course, most of the EU is on holiday right about now, but one hopes that national governments and international organisations can come together soon to try and end this bloodshed.