World View: Russia, West Plan Next Steps After Crimea Referendum
- Islamic Jihad gaining popularity over Hamas in Gaza
- Western politicians express outrage as Crimea votes to join Russia
- Russia and the West plan their next steps after Crimea referendum
Islamic Jihad gaining popularity over Hamas in Gaza
Although Hamas is the governing authority in Gaza, last week's rocket
barrage from Gaza into Israel came from Islamic Jihad, not from Hamas.
Hamas has been losing popularity, and Hamas's loss has been Islamic
Hamas has faced a variety of problems in recent months:
- Hamas used to have its headquarters in Damascus, Syria,
but when the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad began
exterminating Sunni women and children, Hamas split from Syria and was forced to move its headquarters to Doha, Qatar.
- Hamas's biggest financial backer used to be Iran, which
provided $20 million per month, in addition to weapons. When
Hamas split with Iran's ally Syria, Iran split with Hamas and now funds Islamic Jihad.
- Hamas was formed over 30 years ago as an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim
Brotherhood, so when Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood came to
power in Egypt in June of 2012, Hamas rejoiced. But after the
military ousted Morsi and declared MB to be a terrorist organization,
Hamas's relationship with Egypt became extremely contentious.
Egypt has declared Hamas to be a terrorist organization, and the army
has incessantly worked to destroy the smuggling tunnels between Gaza
- Other countries and organizations that used to support Hamas
can no longer do so as well. Turkey used to provide political
and economic support, but Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is
mired in political corruption allegations.
- The Gulf States used to provide support, but they're
split into two factions, the Saudi Arabian faction
fighting against MB, and the Qatar faction supporting MB.
- Lebanon's terrorist group Hezbollah used to ally with Hamas in the
"resistance" against Israel, but Hezbollah is bogged down fighting in
Syria as an ally of Bashar al-Assad's regime. Even worse, the Syrian
civil war has spilled over into a Shia/Sunni conflict within
The result is that the Gaza economy is in freefall along with Hamas's
popularity. The wages of most government employees haven’t been paid
for months, there are shortages of fuel, electricity, building
materials, and some basic foodstuffs. Gazans are turning to Islamic
Jihad, which has been arming for a future war with Israel. Israel Hayom and Fox News
Western politicians express outrage as Crimea votes to join Russia
Jubilant citizens in Lenin Square in Crimea's capital Simferopol
celebrated Sunday's referendum on secession from Ukraine, where
Crimeans voted more than 95% in favor of seceding to join the Russian
According to Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague:
Nothing in the way that the referendum has been
conducted should convince anyone that it is a legitimate exercise.
The referendum has taken place at 10 days' notice, without a
proper campaign or public debate, with the political leaders of
the country being unable to visit Crimea, and in the presence of
many thousands of troops from a foreign country. It is a mockery
of proper democratic practice.
The UK does not recognise the referendum or its outcome, in common
with the majority of the international community.
France's president François Hollande said Saturday that if there is no
"de-escalation" in Ukraine, there will be "sanctions" Monday from the EU
It is a "pseudo referendum" in the Crimea because it
does not conform to the Ukrainian domestic law and international
law. This is why France and the European Union will not recognize
the validity of this pseudo referendum.
According to Canada's prime minister Stephen Harper:
The so-called referendum held today was conducted
with Crimea under illegal military occupation. Its results are a
reflection of nothing more than Russian military control.
This "referendum" is illegitimate, it has no legal effect, and we
do not recognize its outcome. Canada is working with other
countries on the possibility of further sanctions.
President Barack Obama telephoned Russia's President Vladimir Putin on
Sunday saying the U.S. and allies are "prepared to impose additional costs
on Russia for its actions." According to the White House:
We reject the "referendum" that took place today in
the Crimean region of Ukraine. This referendum is contrary to
Ukraine's constitution, and the international community will not
recognize the results of a poll administered under threats of
violence and intimidation...
President Obama reiterated that a diplomatic resolution cannot be
achieved while Russian military forces continue their incursions
into Ukrainian territory and that the large-scale Russian military
exercises on Ukraine’s borders only exacerbate the
AFP and La Tribune (France) and BBC and NBC News and Canadian Press
Russia and the West plan their next steps after Crimea referendum
European Union leaders, supported by President Obama, plan to meet on
Monday in Brussels to decide on sanctions against Russia. If Russia takes no further
action in Ukraine, it's possible that the whole sanction plan will be abandoned and things will go back to business as usual, with Crimea's secession
a fait accompli. However, it seems very likely that Russia
will take further action.
The first and most logical action would seem to be the annexation
of Crimea by the Russian Federation. However, some analysts say
that may not be the most likely first step.
Most people seem to agree that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants
to rebuild the Soviet/Russian empire and wants all of Ukraine, not
just Crimea. According to this logic, Putin would hold off annexing
Crimea until he could launch a full invasion first of eastern Ukraine,
then all of Ukraine, pushing west all the way across Ukraine to the
border of Moldova and its secessionist province Transnistria.
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Gaza, Hamas, Islamic Jihad,
Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood,
Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Saudia Arabia, Qatar,
Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hezbollah, Iran,
Britain, William Hague, France, François Hollande,
Canada, Stephen Harper, Russia, Vladimir Putin,
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