To the Editor:

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has justified American diplomatic efforts at the highest levels, drawn tens of thousands to demonstrate in the nation’s capital, and saturated the media. Popular support for American diplomatic intervention in the Middle East is high; the general sentiment is “we can’t just let them kill each other.”

And yet, in the past decade, we have allowed thousands of people to kill each other: 500,000 in Rwanda, 200,000 in Bosnia, 20,000 in Eritrea and Ethiopia, and hundreds of thousands more in Chechnya, Burundi, Angola and the Congo. It is unlikely that any of the ongoing conflicts in many of these areas will make the front page of The New York Times this year, nor will they warrant a visit by a high official like Colin Powell.

So while we weep and wring our hands over the “cycle of violence” between the Israelis and Palestinians, who will weep over the millions of Sudanese killed and starved for the past 14 years? These afflicted people and millions like them will go ignored until we manage to overcome our selective and self-interested view of global crises.

Ruddy Wang ’02

April 22, 2002