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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 25-Apr-2014
25-Apr-14 World View -- Crimean Tatars and Ukraine seek help from Sunni Muslim countries

Web Log - April, 2014

25-Apr-14 World View -- Crimean Tatars and Ukraine seek help from Sunni Muslim countries

Israel cancels peace talks after Palestinian reconciliation

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Ukraine joins Crimea's Tatars in appealing to Turkey and Saudi Arabia


Stalin's Red Army ordered Crimean Tatars to leave their homes on the night of May 18, 1944
Stalin's Red Army ordered Crimean Tatars to leave their homes on the night of May 18, 1944

Ukraine is applying to join the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as an associate member, as a move to protect the 300,000 Tatars living in 300 Muslim communities on the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia. The OIC was established in 1969 "to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world." It has a membership of 57 states. Russia, with a population of 27 million Muslims, is an associate member.

While the world's attention has been focused on eastern Ukraine, and the question of whether Russian troops will invade, Russia still has many problems to deal with in the newly annexed Crimea. Ukraine's OIC application is part of the growing ethnic tensions between the Crimean Tatars and the ethnic Russians. A recent statement by a Russian official that if Tatars don't like it in Crimea, "then they should leave!" is provoking fears that that Russia plans to drive all Tatars off Crimea.

Crimea is the historic homeland of the Tatars. In 1944, Russia's dictator Josef Stalin deported 200,000 Tatars from Crimea to central Asia, accusing them of collaborating with the Nazis. It was only in the 1980s and 1990s that the Tatars returned in large numbers to Crimea, particularly after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Ukraine's independence. The Tatars see today's worsening situation as a sign that Russia's president Vladimir Putin plans to repeat Stalin's mass deportation of Tatars. Islam in Ukraine (Trans) and Jamestown

Putin seeks to 'rehabilitate' the Crimean Tatars

So on April 10, a delegation of Crimean Tatars reached Saudi Arabia to apply for associate membership in the OIC. Although it may take a few months for the application to be reviewed, it's expected to be granted. In addition, Turkey's Foreign Ministry has issued a strong statement demanding that the rights of the Crimean Tatars be protected.

Putin responded on April 21 by signing a decree to "rehabilitate" all the ethnic groups in Crimea that suffered repression under Stalin. According to Putin:

"Taking advantage of an opportunity, I would like to inform colleagues that I have signed a decree on rehabilitation of the Crimean Tatars, the Armenian population, Germans, Greeks - all those who suffered from Stalinís repressions."

It's doubtful that Putin's rehabilitation decree will do much to remediate the tension, which may lead to violence. That scenario is particularly possible on May 25, when Ukraine's presidential elections occur. Russian activists in Ukraine have already said that they plan to do everything possible to disrupt the elections. Particularly vulnerable will be tens of thousands of Crimean Tatars, who are still Ukrainian citizens, having refused to accept Russian passports, will try to cross the border into Ukraine's mainland to vote, and return. Itar-Tass (Moscow) and Zaman (Ankara)

Israel cancels peace talks after Palestinian reconciliation

Following Wednesday's announcement of a reconciliation between the two Palestinian factions -- Hamas, which governs Gaza, and the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, which governs the West Bank -- Israel's cabinet voted unanimously to suspend all peace talks, and to take unspecified steps in retaliation against the moves.

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he will never negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas. According to Netanyahu:

"Instead of choosing peace, Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] formed an alliance with a murderous terrorist organization [Hamas] that calls for Israel's destruction. Abu Mazen formed an alliance with an organization whose covenant calls for Muslims to wage Jihad against Jews."

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat expressed "deep disappointment" at the decision and said the following:

"Benjamin Netanyahu and his government used the split between the Palestinian factions as an excuse to reject a peace agreement in the past. Today, they are using Palestinian reconciliation as an excuse for the same thing.

The only logical explanation is that the Netanyahu government does not want peace."

Jerusalem Post and Jerusalem Post

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 25-Apr-14 World View -- Crimean Tatars and Ukraine seek help from Sunni Muslim countries thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (25-Apr-2014) Permanent Link
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