There's a pattern of polemical thrust and counter-thrust that goes something like this. These people will be criticizing the government of their own country for some putatively bad policy, practice, war or what have you, when those people will respond by asking, 'Hey, how come you only condemn this type of thing when it's "us" that's doing it, but not also when governments or organizations further away go in for the same thing?' Once those people have asked that question, these people often reply, 'We have a greater responsibility for righting wrongs closer to home, and are better able to do so as well; our voices are more likely to be effective here than there, in influencing our own government than other people's, distant movements, different cultures...' and so forth. I have said before that this is merely an argument of convenience meant to embarrass political opponents, and that most people who use it don't really believe it: when it suits them to do so, they agitate and they act from afar, so to speak, as well as from nearby.
Now here's a case in point. Denis MacShane writes in the Times:
Today in London a conference of parliamentarians from different legislatures in Europe and around the world will gather to discuss what can be done [about anti-Semitism]. Michael Gove, for the Conservatives, will join Labour Cabinet ministers Hazel Blears and Jim Murphy in saying it is time for the Parliaments of the democractic world to take action against anti-Semitism - especially Islamist attacks against young Jewish students on university campuses.
Yes, it is time. It is also time for the organized left, such as it still is, to take action against anti-Semitism. It has recently been most vocal in its condemnation of Israel's actions in Gaza. Relative to anti-Semitism in Britain and Europe, that is far away; relative to Gaza, anti-Semitism in Britain and Europe is right on the doorstep of the British and European left. These are not good reasons not to care, or to speak or demonstrate, about Gaza, if that is what you believe needs to be done. But they are good reasons for caring, speaking, demonstrating, about the upsurge in anti-Semitism in your own country. They are particularly so in light of the anti-racist traditions and avowals of the left. And they do rather bring the discourse of 'far and near' into focus.