No Winners In Gaza
For a detailed look at the most recent Palestinian/Israeli agreement, a complete recap has been published in the Jerusalem Post. Among the items left for long term discussions is the opening of a seaport for Gaza and the reopening of Yasser Arafat International airport which was destroyed by Israel in 2000.
World opinion continues to find both sides in the Gaza conflict at fault and over reaching in their claims of victory. In Deutsche Welle, Anne Allmeling says Hamas may actually have been weakened by concession it needed to make and that the Israeli victory came at a heavy price. The post-conflict victory claims are not helpful for the future, writes The Jordan Times and perhaps other Middle Eastern nations, such as Egypt and Qatar have reason to seek credit.
Sanctions Beginning To Squeeze Russia
Signs that Russia is feeling the pinch of Western sanctions have appeared in an article in an Eurasianet.org article. The article cites a call from Russia for Kyrgystan to increase its produce and meat exports to the beleaguered nation. The Moscow Times reports that the sanctions have added to the country’s inflation rate and slowed economic growth. Also, “The sanctions against state-controlled banks present the biggest and most immediate threat to Russia’s economy,” writes The Economist because they need access to Western capital to fund their debt and fund new investments. Putin’s calculation that the West would accept his annexation of Crimea with no cost to him may have been a grave mistake. The sectors the West have left untouched, as detailed in the Economist article, is informative. And in the on-line Quartz, a sector by sector, goods by goods analysis shows that there are few economic sectors where Russian sanctions on Western goods could have damaging countervailing effects.