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China and Hong Kong: Views on Gaza Conflicts

After the first intense air strikes in the Gaza Strip at the end of 2008, Israel continues the attacks on the densely populated Gaza in 2009 and it is expected to cost more Palestinian lives. While there are mass demonstrations against Israel’s military actions in London, Paris, Berlin, Athens and several Muslim countries, what are the reactions in Hong Kong and China to this humanitarian crisis?

Will peace come?

Jackhomme, a Hong Kong blogger is rather cynical towards the situation and believes that we can do nothing to stop the current Gaza conflicts.

戰爭不是今天的事,沒人能保證有天會和平,我們安坐在千里之外很多事可以選擇,選擇早上吃什麼早餐,放工後去不去看場戲,約朋友去那間酒館飲酒,而在戰爭中的平民連生存的權利都沒有,連人最基本尊嚴都失去,選擇是多麼奢侈,生命就是如此輕渺,我們只好在外旁觀,看新聞把死亡當做娛樂,把戰事寫在blog上扮高深,我們沒有能力停止改變事實,一少人把世界搞亂卻要全人類陪葬.

War is not a new matter and nobody can guarantee there will be peace tomorrow. We can comfortably sit far away from the battlefield and make our daily choices, like to have what kind of breakfast, or whether to watch a movie or go to pub after work. Such kind of choice is a luxury to the civilians in war as they even do not have the basic human rights and dignity. Life is like that. We can only watch from the outside; read the death tolls on the newspapers as entertainment and write a sophisticated blogpost on warfare. We have no ability to change the fact that a minority of people mess up the world and expect the whole of people to be buried with them.

CodeBlue, another Hong Kong blogger, also feels that it is too naive to believe that the conflicts between Israel and Palestine can come to an end.

外人無論怎樣做和事佬, 也不能完全了解他們之間的死結, 更何況又有誰能百分百可以預計以巴何時有永久停止衝突的一天呢? 世界和平? 這種想法是否過於天真?

Outsider peace makers can never fully understand the dead knot (between Israel and Palestine) . So who can predict when will the conflict between Israel and Palestine comes to an end and peace to the world? Isn't such thought too naive?

Anti war protests and petitions

Nevertheless, some disagree to stand aside and watch. Hoidick started translating reports on the situation in Gaza at inmediahk.net and stirred up some discussions, in which fc said:

A lot of people feel that the Middle East is so far away that it's not relevant. The fact is everything in this world is related. Think of it this way: For every person killed in this Gaza attack, probably 100 terrorists were born. The net result is that the whole world (including Israel itself) has become more unstable, and there's a much increased risk of another 9/11. What the current Israeli and American administrations refuse to accept is that military force simply DOESN'T WORK.

In the facebook, a Hong Kong resident, Hong Wilson, creates a group to campaign against war in the Gaza strips on and there are 426 members up to 6 Jan 2009. They are planning to collect online petition to the Consulate General of Israel in Hong Kong and Macau. Members of the group suggested other means to express anger towards the Israeli military actions, including hanging a Palestinian scarf outside the window and deleting all the Israeli friends on their facebook accounts. Cheuck Hang suggests to demonstrate at the Consulate General of Israel in Hong Kong.

我認為香港人至少應該要到以色列的領事館示威, 以前在youtube看過梁國雄有到海富中心示威,可惜人數很少,希望能不斷發起示威,引起香港人注視這個問題

I think Hong Kong people should at least organize a demonstration to the Consulate General of Israel. I have seen Leung Kwok-hung (a social activist) visited the Admiralty Center to protest in the past on Youtube but there were only a very few people. Hope this can arouse Hong Kong people’ attention to the problem (The Gaza conflict).

Apart from joint signature petitions against the war in Taiwan and Hong Kong, a number of demonstrations against the war have happened this week at the Israeli Consulate General in Hong Kong and more to come in the weekend.

Tibet and Gaza, China and Israel scenario

While many in Hong Kong and Taiwan condemn Israel for invading Gaza and killing of civilians, the position and opinions in Mainland China are rather ambivalent. Most of the articles are speculations on the reason behind the military action.

Mengshaosan criticizes Western government's double standard in the Israel military action:

只有美国和英国与国际社会作出了大相径庭的反映,都拒绝了呼吁以色列停止对加沙地带的武力行动,那个自以为是世界之王的“萨狗屎”(萨科奇)和那些所谓的人权斗士也都闭上了他们的狗嘴。哈哈,想想真是好笑,想当初,在3月14日的西藏骚乱事件之后,那些所谓的斗士们纷纷张开那张狗嘴,对中国政府的正当行为强加谴责,给中国军人强加戴上了“镇压”的帽子。一时间,在西方人的眼中,中国成了一个十恶不赦的国家。然而,好笑的是,在今天,犹太人空袭了加沙,短短的三天内,三百多名无辜的平民成了战乱中的亡魂。但是那几张狗嘴却闭上了,而且,还闭得那么的严实。

Only the U.S and U.K governments’ reaction were different from the international society. They refused to urge Israel government to seize fire in Gaza strip. The Sar-dog-shit (Sarkozy) and other human rights fighter have also shut their mouth. This is a joke, remember during the 3.14 Tibet riot, all these fighters opened their dog mouths to criticize Chinese government and labeled Chinese military force's action as “oppression”. In the eye of these westerner, China has become a evil county. And today, the Jew launches air strike to Gaza, and in three days, more than 300 innocent civilians have died in the war. Those dog mouths had shut up, so completely!

Chenglong also co-relates the Israel attacks on Gaza with the Tibet issue in China by examining the Chinese government moderate position towards the military action:

中国对以色列空袭哈马斯采取冷眼旁观的态度,实际上是在暗示美国及其他国家(尤其是印度),如果境外的藏独势力(包括疆独势力)对中国进行恐怖袭击,中国将有权效仿以色列采取一切可能的行动。

Chinese government adopted an observer position to Israeli air strike in Gaze against Hamas is a hint to the U.S and other countries (in particular India) that if Tibetan independent sector (including Xinjiang independent sector) launched terrorist attack in China, the Chinese government will take action similar to Israeli government.

Compensation on life

However, a blogpost titled as “Israel is a good nation” occupies the highest rank in the Chinese blogoshpere (via google search), in which Zhengkoupinghei believes Israel is a good nation because of its monetary compensation on life:

我就當前以色列和巴勒斯坦沖突談談個人看法,我的第一個觀點是,在信息不對稱的情況下,不要輕易下自己的結論;第二,我個人的知識和經歷告訴我,以色列是個好國家。

Let me express my views on the current Israeli and Palestinian conflict. My first point, in this asymmetric information circumstance, it is hard to make a personal conclusion. Second, according to my knowledge and personal experience, Israel is a good nation.

The blogger's impression comes from a story told by a senior governmental officer in Fujian province.

福建省政府的高官講了這麼一個故事︰
幾年前,耶路撒路發生了一起公交車爆炸的恐怖襲擊,炸死了十來個人,其中包括兩名中國人,此兩人系偷渡客,屬于非法入境。[…]後來,以色列政府專門開了一個會,會議認為,在以色列國土上無辜死亡的人,政府都有責任對其負責,至于這個人偷渡與否,那是另外一回事。會議最後決定,對兩名死難的中國人一視同仁地按照國民待遇善後。[…]一個這樣對待它國和自己死去國民的國家,不管你怎麼說,我都堅信,這是個好國家。

A high ranking governmental officer in Fujian province tells a story:
A few years ago there was a terrorist car attack in Jerusalem and ten people were dead, including two illegal Chinese immigrants. […] Later, Israeli government started a conference and decided that the government should be responsible for the victims, regardless whether he or she was an illegal immigrant. The conference finally settled that the two Chinese victims should receive the same national treatment as local Israeli citizens.[…] A country with this kind of settlement to local and foreign victims, whatever you says, I firmly believe, it is a good nation.

11 comments

  • Nice recompilation work!

    I think that these points of view clearly exemplify the way that Chinese think: Indifference (or unawareness), nationalism, ideologies based on media and a few (very few) critic points of view.

    Apart from Chinese’s ideologies, everyone should take part on this and do something; it doesn’t matter if it is a big contribution or a small one.

    Thanks for your article,
    Peace,
    David

  • We’ll be discussing the Israeli invasion of Gaza from perspectives on both sides of the divide Monday and Tuesday January 12 and 13 at 5 PM New York time on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com with Israel’s Consul General in New York Asaf Shariv and Hussein Ibish, executive director of the Foundation for Arab-American Leadership and senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine.

    Please go to http://www.garybaumgarten.com and click on the Join The Chat Room button to speak with Shariv on Monday and Ibish on Tuesday.

    Thanks,

    Gary

  • Glad to see the Chinese and (Hong Kong-ese?) perspective on what’s happening in Gaza. Thanks for this.

  • peace on earth

  • Wing Lok

    Thanks for the words and the link.

    There is a demostration in Hong Kong which is initiated by two students from the Hong Kong University and several hundreds people join the protest today. However, most of the protesters are foreigners from Pakistan, Indonesia and other European countries. There are only few Hong Kong residents or mainland Chinese to take part in the event.

    Wing Lok

  • Nadia

    Nice work. Are you aware of the stance of Chinese government in this bloody attacks?

  • Lo King-wah

    The 11th demonstration in HK was joined by a lot of
    ethnic minorities and quite a few of them are HK citizens. When we proceeded I saw a lot of onlookers. Hopefully the protest can arouse people’s awareness
    and consequently more actions to help end Israeli government’s violence and a true independence for the Palestinian people.

    Lo King-wah

  • Yi

    Nice variety of views :)

  • Jacinta

    Great work Wing.

    What more can we do besides demonstrations?

  • welcome to my blog,Wish for peace

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