Caroline Glick

Israelis can be excused for wondering why Brazil and Argentina unexpectedly announced they recognize an independent Palestinian state with its capital city in Israel's capital city. Israelis can be forgiven for being taken by surprise by their move and by the prospect that Uruguay, and perhaps Paraguay, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and El Salvador, will be following in their footsteps because the Israeli media have failed to report on developing trends in Latin America.

And this is not surprising. The media fail to report on almost all the developing trends impacting the world. For instance, when the Turkish government sent Hamas supporters to challenge the IDF's maritime blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza coastline, the media were surprised that Israel's ally Turkey had suddenly become Hamas's ally and Israel's enemy.

Their failure to report on Turkey's gradual transformation into an Islamic supremacist state caused the media to treat what was a culmination of a trend as a shocking new development.

The same is now happening with Latin America.

Whereas in Turkey, the media failed only to report on the significance of the singular trend of Islamization of Turkish society, the media have consistently ignored the importance for Israel of three trends that made Latin America's embrace of the Palestinians against Israel eminently predictable.

Those trends are the rise of Hugo Chavez, the regional influence of the Venezuela-Iran alliance, and the cravenness of US foreign policy towards Latin America and the Middle East. When viewed as a whole they explain why Latin American states are lining up to support the Palestinians. More importantly, they tell us something about how Israel should be acting.

OVER THE past decade Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez has inherited Fidel Castro's mantel as the head of the Latin American anti-American club. He has used Venezuela's oil wealth, drug money and other illicit fortunes to draw neighboring states into his orbit and away from the US. Chavez's circle of influence now includes Cuba and Nicaragua, Bolivia, Uruguay and Ecuador as well as Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Peru. Democracies like Colombia and Chile are also taking steps in Chavez's anti-American direction.


Caroline Glick

Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.

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