December 16th 2010 01:37:02 AM
Did I totally sleep through the recognitions this month by three Latin-American nations of Palestine? The best part being that the guy who is most upset over it is Eliot Engel. Before I excerpt the article from earlier this month, let’s have a refresher on Engel who, in tireless subservience to his substantial Albanian constituency in the Bronx, in 1999 stood on a square in Pristina and announced to the Kosovo Albanians on TV that he wanted to be the first U.S. lawmaker to stand on independent Kosovo soil, thereby emboldening anarchy against the government of Yugoslavia and Kosovo’s subsequent unilateral declaration of independence which the Palestinians are now pushing as a model. (And here’s the warning the very month we were bombing, by a Jewish professor.)
Engel’s role in the Kosovo precedent is enshrined via his image smiling down all too widely on the beneficiaries (and extorters) of his largesse at others’ expense. “As the leading supporter of independence for Kosova in Congress, Congressman Engel has written numerous pieces [of] legislation affecting the region,” read a 2006 press release about the funeral of former Kosovo-Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova. “Engel represents a district with a significant Albanian population, and is the only Member of Congress attending the funeral in an official capacity.”
And in his own words — in a speech that could have come from Arafat himself — he said the following while presenting a Resolution on Kosovo to the House of Representatives during the March 2004 Albanian pogrom against Serbs:
When there is no resolution of the final status, the people in a country become restless because they see no future…UNMIK, the United Nations, and NATO have to be seen as people who are resolving this issue, who are moving it to final status to give the people of Kosovo hope. Right now there is rampant unemployment. Right now there is very little hope for a future…Self-determination and, ultimately, independence for the people of Kosovo is the only solution(TM). When people do not see a chance for self-determination, tensions fester beneath the surface when you do not move to resolution… What we have seen…is this ridiculous plan called standards before status. To me, it only means status quo. We put forward benchmarks and we tell the people of Kosovo they have to achieve these benchmarks before we can even look at a resolution and at self-determination…The ethnic violence which happened yesterday is a tragic undertaking, a tragic tragedy, and I must call on both sides to stop the violence…It must be solved peacefully.”
Let me repeat: This is a Jewish lawmaker calling a pogrom — a POGROM — “a tragic tragedy.” And I guess Kristallnacht was nothing more than an unfortunate, isolated tragedy that had no wider implications, that didn’t mean a thing. I’m sure U.S. lawmakers at the time called on “both sides” to “stop the violence,” right? Separately, keep in mind that the “restless” people of Kosovo whose cause he advocates — who have been waiting a “long, long time,” as former Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns put it — had been waiting only five years at the time of Engel’s speech to Congress. Unlike the Palestinians whose similar moves Engel for some reason wags a finger at.
And yet — and yet — here we are this month:
Brazil Recognizes State of Palestine With Pre-1967 Borders
By Joshua Goodman - Dec 3, 2010
Brazil today recognized the state of Palestine based on borders before Israel seized control of the West Bank in 1967.
The foreign ministry said the recognition was in response to a request made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to President Luiz Inacio 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.
U.S. Congressman Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat who is chairman of the House subcommittee overseeing relations with Latin America, condemned Brazil’s move.
“Brazil’s decision to recognize Palestine is severely misguided and represents a last gasp by a Lula-led foreign policy which was already substantially off track,” Engel, who is also co-chair of the Brazil caucus in Congress, said in an e- mailed statement. “Brazil is sending a message to the Palestinians that they need not make peace to gain recognition as a sovereign state.”
Lula, who steps down after eight years in office on Jan. 1, made his first-ever visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories in March. He was snubbed during the tour by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for laying a wreath at Palestinian leader Yasser Arafata’s grave without visiting the tomb of Zionist founder Theodor Herzl.
“One can only hope that the new leadership coming into Brazil will change course and understand that this is not the way to gain favor as an emerging power,” Engel said.
Gee, who could have seen this coming while encouraging and recognizing the unilateral declaration of a criminal state? Now that’s responsible governorship.
Looks like Dumb Jew just f***ed Israel!
Did I mention that Argentina and Uruguay followed suit? With Bolivia and Ecuador being next in line, apparently:
Argentina announced Monday it recognizes the Palestinian territories as a free and independent state within the 1967 borders, a step it said reflects frustration at the slow progress of peace talks with Israel.
President Cristina Fernandez informed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of the decision, which follows a similar move by Brazil, Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said.
Argentina is “deeply frustrated” that the goals of the 1991 peace talks in Madrid and the Oslo Accords of 1993 still have not been reached, Timerman said.
“The time has come to recognize Palestine as a free and independent state,” he said.
He stressed that Argentina also “ratifies its irrevocable position in favour of the right of Israel to be recognized by everyone and to live in peace and security within its borders.”
Argentina has a deep interest in seeing Israelis and Palestinians agree to a deep and lasting peace in the Middle East, Timerman said.
“Argentina’s decision to recognize the Palestine state is based in the desire of its authorities to favour the process of negotiation aimed at ending the conflict.”
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki rejoiced at Argentina’s decision, which comes three days after Brazil’s recognition. He told The Associated Press on Monday he expects Uruguay and Paraguay to recognize Palestinian statehood in the next few days, followed by Bolivia and Ecuador.
“It is really symbolic, but it is important because the more countries that recognize the Palestinian state, the more pressure this will put on countries that are hesitant and on the peace process. If Israel keeps refusing to recognize the Palestinian state when other countries do, this will make a difference,” Malki said.
Timerman said “it’s important to note that this Argentine recognition adds to that of more than a hundred states, and reflects a growing consensus in the international community about the status of Palestine and the general interest in achieving decisive advances in the peace process.”
The Palestinian Authority opened a diplomatic mission in Buenos Aires in 1996, and in 2008 Argentina installed a representative in Ramallah, the West Bank. In November 2009, Abbas visited with Fernandez in Argentina.
Malki, who had met with Argentina’s president to encourage recognition, said the authority has been focusing on Latin America.
“Other countries still have doubts and we are seeing how to convince them to recognize the Palestinian state,” he said.
A similar report by Politico: Argentina recognizes Palestine
Argentina will recognize Palestine as an independent state, days after Brazil did so, Middle East media are reporting.
“Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner confirmed in a phone call to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday that her country would recognize an independent Palestine within the 1967 borders,” the Palestinian News Network reports, citing Yasser Abbed Rabbo, Secretary General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. “Kirchner also said that her recognition was not just a political gesture but a moral stand.”
The Israeli government expressed disappointment at the decision, which it learned of this morning, calling it a violation of internationally-recognized agreements which state that a Palestinian state can only be established as the result of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
“The Government of Israel expresses its regret and disappointment of the decisions by the governments of Brazil and Argentina to recognize an independent Palestinian State,” an Israeli embassy spokesman said in a statement Monday. “This is a violation of the Interim Agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in 1995 and in contradiction to the Road Map adopted by the Quartet and recognized by the international community … which stipulates that a Palestinian state can be established only through a process of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and not by means of a unilateral step.”
“Any attempt to bypass this process and decide in advance and unilaterally on important issues in dispute, will only undermine the trust between the two sides and their commitment to an agreed upon framework of peace negotiations,” it continued.
Outgoing Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva recognized Palestine in a Dec. 1 letter to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that was later posted to the Brazilian foreign affairs ministry website.
Brazil’s move took the United States by surprise, a U.S. Latin America hand told POLITICO.
Diplomatic sources said the Brazilian government had notified some ambassadors in advance of the move, but mostly those from Latin American countries (and not apparently the United States).
“It is premature,” a U.S. official said of the Brazilian and Argentinian move. “These issues should be settled within direct negotiations.” […]
And from an AFP report:
“It sends the wrong message to the Palestinian Authority, because it tells them that they don’t need to reform,” make peace with Israel and recognize its right to exist as “a democratic Jewish state,” or tackle extremists, [said Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, incoming House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair]…Israel has opposed the steps by the South American governments, saying they went against an Israeli-Palestinian agreement that such a state only be recognized with Israeli approval…[She] worried the recognition of a Palestinian state amounted to an “effort to take away the legitimacy of Israel.”
Welcome to Serbia. They don’t call the Balkans The New Middle East for nothing. (Or we could say the Middle East the new Balkans)
I’ll close with the worthy analysis that brought my attention to the Latin-America-Israel-Palestine-Kosovo thing:
Posted by Nikolas K. Gvosdev on 12/10/2010
Two months ago, I raised the question whether, in the absence of concrete moves towards a conclusive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian question, the Palestinian leadership might unilaterally declare the existence of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, even without an agreement with Israel.
Brazil recognized a Palestinian state last Friday, followed this week by Argentina and Uruguay. What now remains to be seen is whether other Latin American states will follow suit.
Incoming House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) says that this move is “a terrible precedent” but also acknowledges that the U.S. is not in a position to sanction countries that take this step. Instead, she (and others) are stressing that the act of recognition of a state does not “make it so” — and to that extent, she is right. The U.S. will not change its position and even if a whole number of states recognize, that does not mean that they will work to actively make Palestine a reality.
Palestine does not yet surpass Abkhazia — which four UN member states recognize as an independent country — but the question to watch is whether the actions of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay lead to other South and Central American states moving ahead with recognition. Is there a “magic number” of recognitions that will change the dynamics? If Palestine ends up with 20, 30 or 40 recognitions by the beginning of 2011, does this make the likelihood of a two-state solution more or less certain. I don’t have any answers right now.
At this point, the Europeans seem reluctant to put obstacles in the path of negotiations by going ahead with recognizing Palestine, and states like China and India which are always uneasy when it comes to the means by which new states are created, are also not likely to rush in with any recognitions. Finally, with clear U.S. opposition to any unilateral declaration, these acts of recognition seem more symbolic. But symbolism can matter.
Like I’ve always said: Watch what happens with the Serbs. The canary’s canary.
Keep smiling, Dumbass.