Israel and Russia – Crimea seems a helpful distraction

For the most part, it seems the preponderance of the Jewish community has switched sides. They no longer support the Soviet Union or its modern incarnation. Nevertheless:

MIGHT Russia’s occupation of the Crimea have won Israel a reprieve from American pressure to end its own occupation of Palestine? Set against the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, the shuttle diplomacy between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators that has entangled John Kerry, America’s secretary of state, for nine months seems suddenly almost irrelevant. After meeting Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, in Washington on March 17th, Barack Obama seemed distracted. These days he needs to be embroiled in the Middle East peace process like a loch in kop, Yiddish for “hole in the head”, wrote Chemi Shalev, Washington correspondent of Haaretz, Israel’s main liberal newspaper.

America’s inability to prevent Russia’s occupation of the Crimea may give succour to Israelis keen to hold on to the West Bank, the chunk of a would-be Palestinian state with about the same population as Crimea’s.