Why Argentina’s Palestine Recognition Matters
We interrupt this endless WikiLeaks news cycle to report on something else. (It isn’t likely to end anyhow, and will probably be the dominant news paradigm here at Antiwar.com for many months, at least.)
You may have heard that Argentina and its small, similar neighbor Uruguay have followed Brazil’s lead in recognizing Palestine as a state. This is significant and desirable for several reasons.
First, it is desirable that Palestine be recognized as a state because for now, this is the only way any geographical area or people can be even somewhat independent. To clarify — the recognition of a Palestinian state does not conjure one out of thin air and it doesn’t cast off Israel’s occupation as if it only took a certain number of countries to just stop believing in the monster anymore. It is just a rhetorical and diplomatic wedge. Yes, even once independent they will still have to deal with a crappy government run by crooked religionists. This is indisputably better than dealing with Jews-only roads, wholesale theft of ancestral land, psychotic settlers, and the possibility or likelihood of being murdered for protesting all of this.
Previously, only other Muslim countries and some former Soviet states recognized Palestine. This is not a bad thing, but as they say, you are judged by the company you keep, and these countries aren’t generally known as, well, good. We’re talking about blatant kleptocracies and theocracies that make Gaza look like Vegas. They also happen to have few or no Jews, with the exception of Iran. All of this is why the latest round of recognitions is so significant.
Brazil is on its way up as an economic powerhouse, and is quite liberal, democratic, and Western all around, despite its problems. Uruguay and Argentina are (more or less) long-time first-world countries, which, combined with Brazil, represent another several hundred million of the world’s people. These countries have close ties with Europe and the United States. They also have large, assimilated Jewish populations — especially and famously, Argentina. In fact, the official who announced the Argentine decision is himself Jewish. This bolsters the Palestinians’ point that their struggle is not anti-Jewish; they simply want to stay on their own land.
Israel is angry, of course, not least of all because it relies on anti-Jewish sentiment to scare up money and support from American Jews.
I expect a wave of recognitions across Latin America in the coming weeks. Contrary to Israeli-US talking points on the issue, this does not undermine peace, which despite decades of expensive blather was never really on the table. It rather ramps up the discussion, forces it onto a new plane. Israel can either try and probably fail to continue to buy the world’s support for its occupation, or it can serve itself and the world better by cutting its losses and making the situation right. It would certainly not put Israel in a good position to block these countries’ efforts to establish diplomatic relations with the Palestinians.
It’s not clear what actual changes we may see after these developments, but it will at least be something new to watch. The endless cycle of fake peace talks and ignored “agreements” between parties of such obvious bad faith is so tiresome.