Widely reported evidence suggests that pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine shot down Malaysian flight MH17 with a missile, resulting in the loss of nearly 300 lives. Even if that turns out to be true, nobody would claim that this was done on purpose. It was a stupid, incompetent by-product of a civil war. It was not a plan to kill tourists. This event results in western powers rounding on Russia, with resolutions tabled at the UN and all the major country media unified in condemnation.
Contrast this reaction with the past week's attack on Gaza by Israel's forces. Blasting children off the beach, widespread destruction of homes and hospitals, absurd orders from the Israeli military to 'evacuate' when there is nowhere to go - these events, resulting in the loss of far more than 300 lives, lead western governments to affirm Israel's right to 'defend itself'! No US, EU or UN sanctions counter Israel's genocide against the Palestinians, but nobody could claim that these murders are an accident.
The scales are set like this: one life lost that can be used in support of imperial policy weighs much more than hundreds whose recognition would be politically inconvenient.
Tony Norfield, 20 July 2014