New Yorker writer George Packer returned to Karim, the subject of a recent feature, to learn his frustration that while ISIS gets closer to a true genocide of the ancient Yazidi people, the world ignores his pleas for help because of the misplaced saturation reporting on Gaza.
In a New Yorker blog post on Wednesday, Packer described the plight of the Yazidi as a “humanitarian crisis that could turn into a genocide” that “is taking place right now in the mountains of northwestern Iraq.”
He wrote of his previous interview: “Karim is a Yazidi, a member of an ancient religious minority in Iraq. Ethnically, he’s Kurdish. An engineer and a father of three young children, Karim spent years working for the U.S. Army in his area, then for an American medical charity. He’s been waiting for months to find out whether the U.S. government will grant him a Special Immigrant Visa because of his service, and because of the danger he currently faces.”
Packer said the Yazidi are being ignored as Israel’s involvement in a crisis captures world attention: “The front-page news continues to be the war in Gaza, a particular Western obsession whether one’s views are pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian, pro-peace, or pro-plague-on-both-houses. Nothing that either side has done in that terrible conflict comes close to the routine brutality of ISIS.”
He said: “Karim couldn’t help expressing bitterness about this. ‘I don’t see any attention from the rest of the world,’ he said. ‘In one day, they killed more than two thousand Yazidi in Sinjar, and the whole world says, ‘Save Gaza, save Gaza.””