Words speak quieter than actions

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 June, 2016, 5:26am

Patu! is an inspiring documentary on the civil disobedience that took place in New Zealand in 1981, in protest against a tour by the South African rugby team (watch it in YouTube-type chunks at www.nzonscreen.com). Along with an appalled world, sleepy New Zealand was rising up against apartheid.

Palestinians must wonder what has happened to all that global righteousness. For years they have suffered their own brand of apartheid but apart from some handwringing from the international community, there has been little action. Well, not until the Freedom Flotilla tried to deliver food and building materials to the beleaguered people of Gaza. And we all know what happened next.

Israel must have realised that attacking peace activists on the high seas would draw condemnation from around the world but is no doubt relying on global apathy setting in again quickly.

With drone attacks on Afghan wedding parties and suicide bombings of hotel lobbies, the concept of having 'gone too far' is becoming impossible to judge. Nonetheless, this particular act of 'inhuman state terrorism', as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayib Erdogan called it, should be met with more than words.

Should be ... but in places such as Hong Kong, probably won't be, our moral compass having been thrown off by materialism and self-interest.