Ukraine is Being Used to Distract the World’s Attention from the Israeli Operation in Gaza
Pyotr ISKENDEROV | 06.08.2014 | OPINION

Ukraine is Being Used to Distract the World’s Attention from the Israeli Operation in Gaza

While the West uses the downing of the Malaysian airliner in the skies over Novorossiya to ratchet up pressure on Russia, a different war is raging in the Middle East.  However, the Israeli army’s latest incursion into the Gaza Strip has not prompted the usual clamorous international outcry.  This time all eyes are fixed on Ukraine and Russia.  Israel was counting on this media cover for its actions - these are the techniques that are commonly employed as part of information wars ...

A cover operation essentially consists of using high-profile events in other counties to lessen the fallout from one’s own actions.  A classic example can be seen in the American film Wag the Dog, in which the US president, embroiled in a sex scandal and in danger of losing his bid for re-election, orders a virtual war to be broadcast live from the Balkans (in Albania).

But nothing even needs to be set up right now in order to create a “smoke screen of deception.”  It’s enough to analyze the information being presented by the media and to carefully synchronize one’s own actions correspondingly.

One example of this tactic could be seen during the American military operation against the Caribbean island nation of Grenada in October 1983.  Washington was greatly displeased with that nation’s plan to develop its military and political cooperation with the Soviet Union, Cuba, and North Korea.  The White House began talking about the threat posed by Grenada’s potential ability to accommodate Soviet military aircraft, and there was eagerness to exorcise the “Vietnam syndrome.”  US President Ronald Reagan later recalled, “We couldn’t let the country remain forever haunted by the ghost of Vietnam and prevent us from defending the legitimate interests of our national security ... We asked no one’s permission, but acted as we saw fit.” 

The US devised its operation against Grenada in 1981, as part of NATO’s Ocean Venture-81 exercises - the largest ever conducted in the Caribbean.  However, a media cover was needed - and they got one with the South Korean airliner being used to provoke the USSR when it was shot down over Soviet airspace on Sept.1, 1983.  In the wake of the subsequent anti-Soviet hysteria, the White House issued orders for the invasion of Grenada. 

In the same way, the media was used in 1995 to camouflage events in the Balkans, where conflicts were simultaneously raging in Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Croatia.  Working with NATO, Croatian leaders developed a plan for a blitzkrieg attack against the Republic of Serbian Krajina.  And in order to divert the attention of the international community, emergency press conferences, news reports, etc., were used to fuel media accounts of the satellite images allegedly showing evidence of mass killings in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica.  All that could be seen in the pictures were some earthmoving operations, but the primary goal had been accomplished: the world was now talking about mass graves in Srebrenica and “anti-Muslim genocide.”  As a result, the Croatian army’s operation against the Serbs took a distant back seat in the news updates and was even granted “moral” justification. 

Thus, Israeli officials have invented nothing new by using events in Ukraine as a media smokescreen to cover their military operation in the Gaza Strip. 

However, outrage is growing at Israel’s actions.  The French government has withdrawn its previous ban on demonstrations in Paris expressing solidarity with the Palestinians.  President Francois Hollande’s own inner circle had opposed that ban.  The head of state himself promised he would not tolerate attempts to “import the conflict between Israel and Gaza onto French soil.” [1]

Meeting in Geneva, the UN Council on Human Rights decided to establish an independent international commission to investigate violations of international humanitarian law in the Gaza Strip that may have occurred during the operation that began on June 13, 2014.  That resolution emphasizes that “The Human Rights Council ...  [c]ondemns in the strongest terms the widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations carried out in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 13 June 2014.”  The document calls on Israel to immediately halt its military operation in the Gaza Strip and to open all border crossings there. 

The EU is also considering “imposing real pressure on Israel.” [2]  However, the West’s policy in regard to Ukraine has not changed, therefore one should expect new media campaigns, not only against Russia, but also against those countries that are in no hurry to join the anti-Russian chorus, such as Hungary and Serbia.  As noted in my last report, experts at the French bank Credit Agricole CIB claimed that “there are currently no signs that geopolitics are starting to de-escalate …” [3]              

[1] Le Parisien, 22.07.2014

[2] http://euobserver.com/justice/125065

[3] AP 280617 GMT Jul 14

Tags: Ukraine  US 

RELATED ARTICLES