Saturday, August 09, 2014

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and Latin America

There have been quite a few stories on Latin America's response to the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I tend to agree with this assessment:

As Gaza smolders, the anti-Israel drumbeat is likely to continue, but the smart money says the damage will remain confined to the rhetorical battlefield. "Latin diplomacy was correct in criticizing Israel's excesses in Gaza but no one is interested in severing relations," says former Brazilian foreign minister Luiz Felipe Lampreia. "There's too much at stake."

Palestinian and Israeli leaders alike have been courting Latin America quite aggressively. This isn't new--I had a spate of posts in 2010-2011 about recognition of the Palestinian state, which included the support of Chilean president Sebastián Piñera. Too many of the media stories give the impression that this is all new.

What I need to do is wrote a post sometime after the current crisis is over, and see how much concrete rejection of Israel--reduction of trade, cancellation of investment, that sort of thing, long-term severing of relations--has actually occurred. This makes me think of Venezuela's treatment of Honduras and Panama some time ago, both of which were vocally and publicly labeled as adversaries for a while, followed later by quiet restoration of normal relations.


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