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US Pans Brazil for Recognizing Palestine as a State

Palestine Israel T-shirtThe United States criticized Brazil, Argentina and several other Latin American countries for the recognition of a Palestine state saying that direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians are still “the only way” to reach peace in the Middle East.

“We do not look favorably upon this line of conduct,” said Philip Crowley, spokesman for the US Department of State. “We believe that any unilateral action is counterproductive.”

Argentina recognized an independent Palestine state on Monday and Brazil made similar declarations on Friday, referring to the frontiers from 1967, before Israeli occupation. This includes all Palestine territory: The Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

Uruguay announced its decision to follow suit with an announcement in 2011. Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay are founding and full members of Mercosur, the South American trade block.

Israel rejected the initiative, saying that they contradicted peace talks and Israeli-Palestinian agreements (Oslo, 1993).

If the negotiations between Israel and Palestine remain on hold, the Palestinians will look to petition for recognition from Washington of the Palestinian state with the 1967 outlined frontiers, taking that demand to the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Earlier in the day, Israeli Foreign Ministry officials expressed outrage at Argentina’s announcement that it recognizes a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 war borders, saying it is counterproductive to the Middle East peace process.

Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman on Monday quoted a letter written by President Cristina Fernandez to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, in which she informed him of her government’s decision to recognize Palestine as “a free and independent state” within the 1967 borders.

The decision is based on a “deep desire to see an advance in the negotiation process (between Israel and the Palestinians) leading to the establishment of a just peace in the Middle East” said Timerman.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor described Argentina’s announcement as “highly damaging and regrettable,” saying it “shattered the foundation of the peace process,” according to the Ha’aretz newspaper.

The Israeli official said the recognition stampede while peace negotiations are ongoing is “contrary to the existing legal framework of the peace process,” adding that it will not change the existing situation or promote reconciliation between the feuding parties.

Another Foreign Ministry official on Tuesday noted the declarations “constitute a breach of an intermediate agreement signed by Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in 1995, which determines that the status of the West Bank can only be determined through negotiations.”

Brazil

Brazil recognized on Friday the state of Palestine based on borders before Israel seized control of the West Bank in 1967. The Brazilian Foreign ministry said the recognition was in response to a request made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva earlier this year.
 
The decision is in line with Brazil’s historic support for United Nations resolutions demanding the end of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, and doesn’t detract from the country’s support for peace negotiations between the two sides, the ministry said in a statement.

“Considering that the demand presented by his Excellency (Abbas) is just and consistent with the principles upheld by Brazil with regard to the Palestinian issue, Brazil, through this letter, recognizes a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders,” it said.

The letter refers to the “legitimate aspiration of the Palestinian people for a secure, united, democratic and economically viable state coexisting peacefully with Israel.”

The international community backs Palestinian demands for a state in most of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and east Jerusalem, all territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

The letter says that over one hundred countries have recognized the Palestinian State, among them all of the Arab countries and most of the African, Asian and Eastern European ones. Countries that maintain fluid relations with Israel – such as Russia, China, South Africa and India, among others – have recognized the Palestinian State. All of Brazil’s partners both in IBSA and BRIC have recognized Palestine.

However the United States and most Western governments have held back from recognizing a Palestinian state, saying it should be brought about through a negotiated peace agreement with Israel.

Abbas visited Brazil in 2005 and 2009, and Lula made the first ever trip by a Brazilian head of state to Israel and the Palestinian territories in March of this year.

In a parallel statement, the government assured relations with Israel “have never been more robust”.

“The ties between both countries have been strengthened throughout the years, simultaneously and without harm to the initiatives to establish closer ties with the Arab and Muslim world”, says the statement

Trade and investment flows with Israel have repeatedly reached historical records. The Free Trade Agreement between Mercosur and Israel, in force since April, was the first done between the regional bloc and an extra-regional country.

In March, president Lula made the first visit of a Brazilian Head of State to the State of Israel, in retribution to the visit made by Israeli President Shimon Peres to Brazil in 2009, the first of a Head of State from that country in over 40 years.

Argentina

Argentinean president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s administration announced via Foreign Minister Hector Timerman that Argentina recognizes Palestine as “a free and independent state, within the frontiers in existence since 1967.”
 
The recognition was made through a personal letter from the Argentine head of state to the president of the Palestine Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, revealed Timmerman. Apparently the official request was made during the Palestine president’s visit to Argentina last year.

“The Argentine government shares with its Mercosur associates, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay that the moment has come to recognize Palestine as a free and independent state,” underlined Timmerman.

Palestine Ambassador to Argentina Walid Muaqqat celebrated the decision made by the Argentina government and said that the announcement “gives a strong push to the ongoing negotiations.”

“We highly value the Argentine decision to recognize the State of Palestine with its borders 4 June 1967 and East Jerusalem as its capital, because this position places the two sides involved in the conflict in equal terms”, said Ambassador Muaggat.

He added that the Argentine government’s decision is a “non-violent reaction that the international community should emulate in response to the expansion and continuous illegal construction of Israeli settlements on Palestine territory that endangers the possibility of finding a solution” on behalf of both sides.

The Argentine Foreign Affairs ministry said that recognition is in the framework of the country’s traditional position to defend “the right of the Palestine people to constitute an independent State, within secure, internationally recognized borders”.

The release adds that Argentina joins over a hundred other states that have recognized the State of Palestine and is evidence of the international community’s growing consensus regarding the status of Palestine, “as well as the overall willingness that decisive advances in the peace process can be achieved.”
Israeli ambassador in Buenos Aires Daniel Gazit said that “the Argentine recognition of Palestine as an independent state will not affect the “very good relations” between Argentina and Israel, and the Jewish state hopes that the decision will help speed up the peace process”.

“The declaration doesn’t affect our relations whatsoever. The bilateral relations between Argentina and Israel are very good. We are also looking for positive relations with the Palestinians,” said Gazit.

“It is also our wish that there be a free and independent Palestine state that can exist alongside and in peace with Israel,” he said.

From Montevideo, Uruguayan Deputy Foreign Affairs minister Roberto Conde said that the formal recognition of Palestine will take place in coming weeks and advanced that Uruguay has plans to open an embassy in Ramallah.

In 1967, following the Six Days war, Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem (which was later annexed) and the Gaza Strip, all of which are territories that the Palestinians are claiming for their state. Israel withdrew itself from Gaza in 2005, but retains control of a large part of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Mercopress

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  • Show Comments (22)

  • Rafael

    [quote]”Than why not give back all the lands they have taken from the indains in their country.”[/quote]

    Perhaps because the UN has never legislated on matters more the 500 years old. And by the way, Brazilian Indians already have at their disposal huge chunks of land that are far greater than what they – who number no more than 750,000 individuals – will need in generations. Has the US done the same to its own Indians?

    [quote]by the way Texas has a larger GNP than the country of brazil and the sate of lausaina grows more sugar cain than brazil does
    [/quote]

    Not only this has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but it is also untrue. Texas GDP as of 2008 was of 1.223 trillion dollars. Brazil’s was over 1.635 trillion. My God, Americans are getting stupider by the hour.

  • Forrest Allen Brown

    If the governments beleive this
    Than why not give back all the lands they have taken from the indains in their country.they did not even have a war the rich and the compaines just had a vote and took it.

    what Israel did was to keep land as a buffer land as if you read your history they have been at a defacto war for 50 years and at one time had 5 other countries attic them at once.

    gained peace with sadat but still had that big liped fagoit that lead the PLO wanted to kill every JEW in the world

    by the way Texas has a larger GNP than the country of brazil and the sate of lausaina grows more sugar cain than brazil does

  • anonymous

    No water, huh? What exactly do you think changed so much in the world? The world had less pirates in the late 1800’s early 1900’s?

  • hubbel

    [quote]If I’m not mistaken, when the USA was a developing nation, it had higher import tariffs than Brazil even did[/quote]

    Well, things have changed quite a bit since the late 1800’s early 1900’s…for everyone, not just the U.S. And Brazil has amongst the highest import tariffs on the planet, so you’re attempt at a justification holds no water whatsoever.

  • anonymous

    You seriously want to compare preferential interest rates to farmers, which are extremely high by any standard, not to mention said farm given as collateral, with high probability of being sold way below market price, with subsidies NOT TO GROW, and subsidies for making sugar out of beets or 1.4 efficiency ethanol, meaning 40% energy gain over the use of the horrendously dirty American Electric Grid?

    My guess you’re as clueless as me as to how said aid is allocated, but if we extrapolate from previously read news articles, you have to agree it is probably used in derailing AIDS prevention programs, making local christian protestants militant, and waging all out ideological warfare, should you know any different, I would be most interested in learning about it myself. If I’m not mistaken, when the USA was a developing nation, it had higher import tariffs than Brazil even did, certainly you’re not trying to class Brazil as a developed nation, are you? Brazilians still import horrendous amounts of products from USA, when they don’t outright visit the USA for a shopping spree, do you know of anything comparable which Americans import from Brazil that they could do without or buy national?

  • hubbel

    [quote]Do you think that compares with the 170 billion dollars that Brazil has bought from the increasingly unprofittable US public debt bonds?
    [/quote]

    That’s a PURCHASE….which can be redeemed at ANY time. There is a difference between buying something from someone, or making an investment, and GIVING, you do understand that don’t you?

    [quote]As for tax exempt imports, let’s not forget that the US has been subsidizing some of their industries – such as ethanol, cotton, and steel.[/quote]

    Let us not also forget that Brazil also subsidizes it’s farmers with interest rates lower than anyone else can get, that is a subsidy in itself. Let us not also forget that many of these agriculture workers in most of the northeast and northern states are literally working as indentured servants. Believe me, I’ve seen it frequently throughout Alagoas, Pernambuco, Tocantins, among others. How do you expect others to compete fairly under these conditions not to mention the absurd human rights abuses? Let us not also forget that Brazil doesn’t give a tax break on ONE american import, and not only do they not give tax breaks but they tax them at rates far above and beyond most all countries on the planet. This is where the U.S. needs to start imposing a POLICY OF RECIPROCITY as Brazil so often loves to do when trying to compare apples to oranges.

    3.5 billion dollars in tax breaks, that’s not chicken feed. It’s the only reason that Brazil finally decided to uphold the laws of the Hauge Council’s Treaty on International Child Abduction for the first time in their history. Unfortunately it took condemnations by both the U.S. House and Senate and then the threat to remove Brazil from it’s list of “most favored nations” for trade hence losing their 3.5 billion in tax breaks. But then again, Brazil never has much in favor or enforcing laws, adhering to treaties, and/or disallowing the abuse of human rights in mass.

  • João da Silva

    [quote]Are you Dr. Cata’s brother? [/quote]

    Or Dr.Cata himself?

  • Ederson

    Thank you, Rafael
    I am rarely complimented so eloquently, and like you, my father also considered me slow and torturous. But still, thank you for recognizing that I have a viewpoint. So often, we little people are rarely given their due. Are you Dr. Cata’s brother? I liked him, too, because he was also kind to dumb animals.:D Forgive me if, at times, I have to battle my way through the details and hubris to voice a counterpoint, but at times I am forced to in an effort to narrow my argument, which you appeared to have agreed with.

  • Rafael

    @Ederson

    I thought you reasoning was both tortuous and poor. I don’t know how the Palestinian Authority stands over the recognition of Israel as a country. That Hamas doesn’t accept it, I know already. But I don’t know about the PA. But whatever it might think of Israel, the fact is that there will be no recognition of a Palestianian state if the Palestines and the Arab nations don’t themselves recognize Israel. Neither the US nor Europe would accept such a stance from the Arabs. By demanding recognition of Palestine based on pre-1967 borders, the Palestine might be indirectly recognizing Israel’s right to exist. But it is either that, or there’ll be no Palestine. The ones who think otherwise are the Islamic extremists who somehow think Allah will sooner or later work in their favour.

    Your knowledge on the Palestine issue is apparently so poor, that you seem unaware that Palestine first unilaterally claimed statehood in 1988. Its claimed independence was immediately recognized by the overwhelming majority of African and Asian states. And that includes China, India, Russia, and the Arabs whom you claim to have abandoned the Palestinians. Haven’t you read the article? So it is not Brazil’s – or any other country’s – recognition of Palestine that is somehow going to make its citizens’ lives difficult. Palestine is now lobbying France and Greece. If France is to do the same that Brazil did – which unfortunately is doubtful – prepare to see Israel throwing a major temper tantrum. No, Israel would not secretly fête such an event.

  • Rafael

    @hubbel

    Go see the CIA website. Brazil receives 190 million dollars in so-called aid, and not all of it comes from America. According to USAID website, its total “aid” to Brazil in 2009 was slightly less than 20 million dollars. This number is shown in a graph at the left side of the page. The graph is so small, I can only wonder that USAID made it so because it is embarassed by its own insignificance.

    http://www.usaid.gov/locations/latin_america_caribbean/country/brazil/index.html

    Do you think that compares with the 170 billion dollars that Brazil has bought from the increasingly unprofittable US public debt bonds?

    And even if the entire 190 million dollars number came from the US, should we be grateful for it over such a small amount of cash? 190 mi is not even 1 dollar per Brazilian citizen in a whole year. Do you think that makes any difference in our lives? Aid to Germany, South Korea, etc., did make an effect in improving their economies. There’s scholarship on it. So go demand from them that they worship the US. There’s a lot of anti-Americanism in Germany and S. Korea, after all. But that which the US and other developed countries send to strategically unimportant regions – for instance, most of Latin America and Africa – has little impact in those areas and serves for nothing but to make propaganda in their own favour.

    USAID in just a proof of that. It is usually adduced by US diplomats in Third World countries to try and buy the masses’ sympathy and to use the credit as a political tool to pressure governments. The fact, however, is that USAID is not aid. USAID is usually re-funded WITH interest rates by the governments who “benefit” from it. This has been cited by our military dictator Costa e Silva in a famous exchange of his with US ambassador John Tuthill. Tuthill had threatened to reduce “aid” to the country over the military government’s radicalization, and he did do it. But guess what? For the next 6 years Brazilian economy had its best period (1968-1973) in history.

    As for tax exempt imports, let’s not forget that the US has been subsidizing some of their industries – such as ethanol, cotton, and steel. That has affected Brazilian exporters. Some of its subsidies – such as those directed to the cotton industries – are illegal and have been receiving repeated condemnation by the WTO. The US keeps subsidizing them, though. After all, the US loves free market only when other countries are the ones doing the opening.

    As for a supposed Chavez-led invasion to Brazil – that you need to resort to wild fantasy to picture a scenario under which we need you, proves just how insignificant you’ve been for us!

  • Ederson

    anonymous is correct!
    Brasil, by giving recognition to the existence of Israeli/Palestinian borders, assures that the Palestinians will always be locked into the worst of the territories! In addition, piece-mealing the Palestinian territories, as the 1976 borders will do, ensures an indefensible border when the final inevitable conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians happens.

    This bit of weird statesmanship was so stupid that I cannot believe it was done accidentally. The growing financial interests between the Brasilian government and Israel leads me to believe that Brasil’s leaders have been bought or they are incredibly naive. Anonymous is correct; it sounds like fried-Palestinian to me! And why the hurry to follow Argentina’s example?>:sad:

  • ..

    [quote]In the words of some Israeli big-wig, “they can call it a state or fried-chicken if they like” [/quote]

    The bigwig was Ariel Sharon, ah think. Is he still alive and enjoying the daily diet of fried chicken?

  • anonymous

    Yes, I believe they call those Israeli A-Bombs. Don’t be silly, if Israel wanted to give the Palestinians a habitable state, they would have 20-30 years ago. What Israel wants to do is string together a few inhabitable lands into a non-sustainable state, and when things go south, since it can’t fail to, they want to exterminate irascible Palestinians without being tried for genocide. In the words of some Israeli big-wig, “they can call it a state or fried-chicken if they like”

  • ..

    [quote]It truly doesn’t take much. Brazil would bite their nose off to spite their face if they can take the other of the U.S. in the belief that they’re “not conforming” and appease the frothing anti-american masses. [/quote]

    IMHO, Brasians are aware that the rear end of the American masses is blocked. Too much of eating junk food.:sad:

  • hubbel

    [quote]Again, Brasil has been duped.[/quote]

    It truly doesn’t take much. Brazil would bite their nose off to spite their face if they can take the other of the U.S. in the belief that they’re “not conforming” and appease the frothing anti-american masses.

  • hubbel

    Rafeal
    [quote]advanced economies received significant US assistence. But that’s not our case. We don’t need to listen to the US if we don’t want to. We have never looked to that country for any assistence whatsoever and neither the US has stepped in to offer aide[/quote]

    That’s why Brazil receives 200 million U.S. per year from USAid and 3.5 billion in tax exempt imports. Wait until Chavez invades Brazil, whoever is sitting in Brasilia will be on the phone to Washington in about 2.5 seconds.

  • ..

    [quote]Further more, why have the rich and powerful Arab nations abandoned the Palestinians? The Palestinians were needed by the Arabs for the Arab/Israeli wars and then abandoned by their so-called allies. Come on Palestinians; don’t you people think?
    [/quote]

    Good questions.

  • Ederson

    Israel is now legitimate?
    I was under the impression that most Palestinians questioned Israel’s right to exist, but in petitioning other countries for recognition as a state, aren’t the Palestinians agreeing to a border that defines a state they don’t wish to recognize?

    If Israel is occupying your land, don’t recognize it by claiming any borders other than those of Israel. The Palestinians make no sense at all! Indeed, by recognizing Palestine by the 1967 borders, the nations of South America are being duped into legitimizing those very borders on behalf of Israel.

    Further more, why have the rich and powerful Arab nations abandoned the Palestinians? The Palestinians were needed by the Arabs for the Arab/Israeli wars and then abandoned by their so-called allies. Come on Palestinians; don’t you people think?

    The Brasilian recognition of Palestine harms the Palestinians, and I think Israel secretly appreciates Brasilian recognition of Palestine because it makes Israel legitimate in the Palestinian eyes.

    Again, Brasil has been duped. Just my opinion. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

  • Rafael

    @anonymous

    Good one.

    The US is in financial debt with virtually all countries in the world – for instance, it owes Brazil over 170 bi dollars in debt bonds – yet Americans can still spout nonsense such as that the world needs America more than the other way around.

    There are some countries that might be in some moral debt with the US. For instance, Germany, Taiwan, and South Korea – countries whose development into advanced economies received significant US assistence. But that’s not our case. We don’t need to listen to the US if we don’t want to. We have never looked to that country for any assistence whatsoever and neither the US has stepped in to offer aide. Oh wait, the US did help some Brazilians once. It was in 1964, and the Brazilians they helped were a set of right-wing military coup-mongers who broke the institutional order and installed the longest dictatorship in Latin America save for that in Cuba. Thanks a lot, America!

  • anonymous

    The whole world looks for U.S.A’s help, hahaha, that’s an interesting twist on U.S.A. usually causing the crisis, blocking all possible alternatives for help, and should that not be enough, directly or indirectly subverting local government. It’s hilarious that you’re able to shut people up with words like “anti-American” “anti-Americanism” considering not even Pravda had the audacity to use such formulations, but then again, American indoctrination has been highly praised for well over 100 years by such luminaries as Hitler.

  • hubbel

    Amaral…
    you my friend are a complete idiot. I actually used to think you had some credible thoughts but you prove with nearly every post you make of late how you are just another frothing anti-american who would love nothing more than to see the destruction of the U.S.

    Whether you like it or not, financial crisis or not, the U.S. is still the big kid on the block and the entire world looks for it’s help when in trouble. That really must make your panties get in a bunch but sure you are just another frother that does his best to convince himself that the horseshit he writes is actually based in reality.

  • Ricardo C. Amaral

    Who cares about the opinion of a former superpower?
    The above article said: “We do not look favorably upon this line of conduct,” said Philip Crowley, spokesman for the US Department of State. “We believe that any unilateral action is counterproductive.”

    But the reality is: who gives a shit about what the United States thinks these days?

    The US government has lost all its clout and prestige in South America, and the South American people does not give a shit about the opinion of US government employees.

    Paying attention to US government position about anything it is a waste of time, since the United States represents the world of yesterday and it will at best a marginal player on world affairs in the future.

    For all practical purposes the United States can be considered a former superpower just like the Soviet Union.

    .

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