Espreso. Global

Ukraine and war in Israel: victimhood will not bring anything positive

20 October, 2023 Friday

The terrorists' attack on Israel is an attempt to undermine the societies of all democratic countries from within

The two days I spent in Brussels were a reality check for me - I will try to get a feel for how the situation in the Middle East is perceived in the EU. Because our picture of reality is highly dependent on the facts that shape it and the information we consume.

During these two days in Brussels, I could not help but feel that right now there is an attempt to repeat the history of the beginning of the First World War when the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in Serbia caused shock waves that escalated into a major war. It seems that it is precisely to create this effect that terrorists have resorted to horrific atrocities that have filled the media space not only in the Western media but around the world.

Brussels has changed a lot. As always colorful and multinational, it is now full of tense calm. It is definitely not the amorphous and well-fed society that was unprepared for the 2016 terrorist attacks, during which Islamists blew up a metro station and an airport, and the police and army were completely unprepared for a quick and effective response. Then there was COVID with complete isolation and permanent quarantines, as well as the shock of the war in Ukraine, and now the terrorist attacks and war in Israel.

And the reaction is radically different.

At first glance, the atmosphere seems normal, but in the hotel, you can hear the quiet conversation of the conference participants discussing security measures and the terrorist attack that allegedly took place on Friday in Antwerp, but which the media is "deliberately silent about so as not to stir up hatred.”

Even the suggestion that the behavior of citizens in Europe can and should be adjusted to prevent incitement to hatred is something completely new to me, and I have been working with EU officials for over 20 years.

However, such restrictions may now be fully justified, because all the prerequisites for escalating violence and terrorist acts are in place: one of the goals of terrorist acts in the Middle East is to destabilize societies within Western countries.

It is clear that the architects of the escalation of violence are deliberately trying to shift the attention of EU citizens to external challenges and migration issues, which are once again on the front pages of Western media. The issue of coexistence in multicultural societies has always been used to deliberately manipulate and create problems within the European Union. It is obvious that the countries of the so-called "axis of evil" are behind this, and that Mordor is involved: the signature is very recognizable.

We have seen part of the campaign in Ukraine, when the Russians launched a wave of fake news that "refugees from Israel will be settled in Ukraine." The tactic of disinformation and stirring up internal problems on the back of fear of war, which has been tried and tested for years, has now been updated and is working against the entire Western world.

What does this mean for us? The need to change behavior in the international arena. The position of the victim will not bring anything positive. We must move to a different level. Today, we should not be asking for help, but rather be partners who develop realistic scenarios for economic growth even in the face of uncertainty.

What hasn't changed in Brussels is the clear understanding that economic growth is the foundation of the sustainability of Western countries. The EU is ready to work with us and with real projects and tasks that will turn the Ukrainian economy into a source of not only prosperity but also security funding.

All we need to do is demonstrate an adequate understanding of the situation, the ability to work for the future, and, most importantly, the ability to take responsibility for our own promises. And this is no longer a "feeling" - it is a clear position that every official and politician with whom we discussed Ukraine's prospects has expressed to me.


About the author. Lana Zerkal, Ukrainian diplomat, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine for European Integration.

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors.

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