I don't identify as a very political person (rather as a very cynical one instead), especially in smaller national conflicts. When the larger nations get involved it causes some stir, but the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been going on for as long as Israel has been established, and is, in the terms of sheer novelty value, old news.

But current media coverage (or lack thereof. I can't quite tell. I get my news sources from not-the-general-media) seems to criticizing the Israeli response as excessive, with much more collateral damage to civilians. Of course, Israel claims mitigating circumstances, that Hamas is defending their weapons with civilians, but I am unsure how much death, if any, you can claim as acceptable collateral damage.

To help visualize the death tolls, I created a PHP script to pull the current fatality counts off of the Wikipedia page of the conflict (I would include casualties as well, but the Wikipedia articles does not bilaterally offer that information), and dynamically generate a SVG pie chart for each side.

I may revisit this script later, with numbers that update more frequently. The addition of an auto-refresh would make a nice visualization for real-time data, however as long as the conflict persists (and the data on the page stays in a relatively similar format), the pie chart will continue to update.

As for my political views, I feel the only true resolution would be to render the entire area uninhabitable. Neither side has the moral high ground, and neither side will stop. I've played PeaceMaker and it seems that Israel, with greater funding and infrastructure, has the better ability to end the conflict, but even so.

There's little hope.

Edit (2014-08-06): It appears that depending on Wikipedia to provide a stable content source was too much to ask. Both this and the Ebola chart have been rendered unusable due to incorrect parsing. I need to find better data sources.

Tagged with politics, programming
Posted on2014-07-31 04:14
Last modified on2014-11-02 22:57

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