Naor R. Bitton

The Ukrainian Crisis as a Symbol

In 2014, our world is a true global village. A viral Youtube video could make you a celebrity, tweets about a young girl in Pakistan who stood proud against the Taliban can bring her all the way to Jon Stewart’s Daily Show in NYC, and these are just two examples.

This internet-trend based world has changed also the way global politics works. Tweets and Facebook events led the 2011 revolution in Egypt and the so-called “Arab Spring”, and what happens in the last days in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula is another showcase about how getting online information from can affects world stability in a few minutes.

As America’s allies around the world follow closely how powerless the Western powers are against Russia’s invasion to Ukraine, it also hurts the West’s credibility. This process is even more profound among America’s closest allies, especially Israel.

In the next few weeks the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, led by Secretary John Kerry, are about to hit a crucial point. The Obama administration is planning to present a framework document for a peace agreement that both the Palestinian and Israeli leadership will have to accept, with some objections. The White House sees that as one of the top interests of America’s foreign affairs

How does that relate to Ukraine? One of the main American and Palestinian demand is that no Israeli forces will be able to stay on the border line between Jordan and the West Bank in any final agreement. Instead, Secretary Kerry offers that U.S-led NATO forces together with high-tech border fence will prevent weapons and terrorists to cross from Iran, Iraq and Jordan to the West Bank mountains, which oversees Israel’s main population centers. If there was a slim chance that Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu would budge and accept that offer before what happen in Ukraine, now it seems unrealistic.

The live coverage, on Facebook and twitter followed by the traditional websites and TV channels of the unbelievably easy way that the Russians acted against past agreements hit waves throughout our globe.

While America and the West responded with statements and press conferences, Putin changed the political reality and East-West balance on the ground. This is Israel’s nightmare in any future peace deal, and that is how in our global world today something that happens in Eastern Europe can undermine America’s interests in the Middle East.


About the Author
Naor R. Bitton (30) is a Senior Adviser to the Mayor of Ashdod. Bitton is a also a Fulbright Scholar. He as a General Assembly Coordinator at Israel's Mission to the United Nations and as a Cabinet Affairs Intern for the Governor of Minnesota Mark Dayton. Mr. Bitton holds a master's degree in Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a BA in Political Science, Media and Journalism from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Mr. Bitton is active in his community and the local politics in Israel: He co-established a local political party with other grassroots leaders, interned for the former chairman of Israel’s Economic Committee, Ambassador Karmel Shama and led the "Social Justice Movement" in Ashdod that forced the issues of justice and equality on to the national agenda. During the Summer of 2013, Naor interned in the office of Representative Jared Polis of Colorado, and during the Summer of 2014 he interned as an Adviser to Ambassador Ron Prosor in Israel's Mission to the UN.