Beirut Attack Virtually Ignored, People Ask Why

A day before the devastating Friday the 13th attacks in Paris, France, 43 people were killed, and 200 were injured in a horrific bombing in Beirut, Lebanon. While both attacks are terrible, there are many who are questioning why the world seemed virtually silent about the Beirut bombing.

“Whilst everyone talks about #Paris no one mentions the #ISIS attack in #Lebanon yesterday,” Angelina Jolie said in one post. “I pray for both countries.”

ISIS has claimed responsibility for both the attacks in Beirut and Paris. Jolie, though, was not alone in wondering why Beirut was all but ignored, and has continued to be since the bombing occurred late last week.

“Let us not forget, 43 people died in Beirut and 200 were wounded on Thursday,” singer and actress Bette Midler tweeted.

The attacks in Beirut occurred near an open-air area in the city’s south, in the Bourj al-Barajeh district, according to Mic. Some on social media have put some pressure on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, questioning why Facebook had enabled the “Safety Check” feature in the wake of the Paris attacks and also allowed people to show their support by changing their Facebook profile pictures to the colors of the French flag. Neither option appeared to be available following the Beirut attacks, and this has left many questioning why.

Indian blogger Karuna Ezara Parikh suggested through a poem that it was the world that needed prayer, not just Beirut and Paris. Other writers also said that other war-torn areas, such as Baghdad, should also garner some attention through social media.

The Paris and Beirut attacks marked the first time since ISIS declared it was a “caliphate” that it had executed multiple attacks by groups instead of taking the traditional “lone wolf” approach that it has been – up to now, at least – known for, according to International Business Times. The shift in behavior means that strategically, the world will have to change its approach in dealing with ISIS, according to Harleen Gambhir, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, DC.

Regardless, people are curious as to why Beirut was almost ignored on social media when the Paris attacks were rampant. The twin Beirut explosions were the first in over a year to target a Hezbollah stronghold. However, Hezbollah forces are fighting ISIS in Syria.

According to News.com.au, actress Ruby Rose took a more global approach to her social media sympathies, posting an image that stated “Pray for the World”. She said in her post, “Let’s be honest,” but there were those who slammed the celebrity for her opinion. Some believed that Rose was detracting from what happened in Paris, but in reality, the actress was acknowledging there were tragedies in places like Beirut and Baghdad that all occurred around the same time as the Paris attacks.

Lebanon honored the lives lost in the Beirut twin bombings with a day of mourning. The bombings occurred when two men in suicide vests detonated their explosives. One detonated his vest outside a Shia mosque, while the other self-detonated inside a bakery. There was a third suicide bomber involved in the Beirut bombings, but he was found dead and his explosives failed to detonate.

Beirut bartender, George Jarrtyan, felt that it was a sign of disrespect that Facebook did not deploy the Safety Check feature following the bombings on November 12; however, the region struggled with 3G and mobile phone connectivity for roughly an hour following the bombings, which would have made the Safety Check feature impossible to use. That said, Beirut resident Megerdich Avedanian, who works at a music venue, told International Business Times that he felt the western world would not have as much concern regarding a bombing in his area.

“The whole world, with no exceptions, will be more interested about Paris than Lebanon: After all, it’s an Arab country,” the Beirut resident said.

[Photo by Salah Malkawi/Getty Images]