Sunday, December 05, 2010

Brazil's recognition of "Palestine" is self-contradictory

The announcement on the Brazilian foreign ministry website recognizing "Palestine" is self-contradictory:

In a letter sent by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, on 1 December 2010, the Brazilian Government has recognized the Palestinian State based on the existing borders in 1967.

The recognition has taken place following negotiations by the Palestinian side and a letter sent by President Abbas to President Lula, last 24 November, in which he requested the recognition.

The initiative is in accordance with Brazil’s historical willingness to contribute to the peace process between Israel and Palestine, whose direct negotiations are currently on hold, and it is in line with UN resolutions, which have demanded an end to the occupation of Palestinian territories and the construction of an independent State within the borders of 4 June 1967.

The conviction that negotiations between Israel and Palestine are vital for the achievement of mutual concessions on the main issues of the conflict has not been abandoned with this decision.

Brazil reaffirms its traditional position toward a democratic Palestinian State, geographically contiguous and economically viable, co-existing in peace with the State of Israel. Only a democratic, free and sovereign Palestine will meet the legitimate Israeli aspirations for peace with its neighbors, border security and political stability in the region.
How can they recognize the borders while at the same time admit that the two sides still need to negotiate "mutual concessions on the main issues of the conflict"? Isn't the border the main issue?

Not to mention that there was no state of "Palestine" within any borders in 1967, or 1947 for that matter. Moreover - the "borders" they speak of were never recognized as borders, they were armistice lines that were not recognized by any Arab nation nor, as far as I know, by any nation on Earth. 

And there is also a major contradiction between the concept of  a "geographically contiguous" Palestinian Arab state and Israel's sovereignty over even the 1949 armistice lines, as there is no way for both to be contiguous without Israel giving up some land - even if that land is used to hold up a bridge between the West Bank and Gaza.

Many people are seeing through the sham. From AFP:
US lawmakers condemned Brazil's "severely misguided" and "regrettable" decision Friday to recognize a Palestinian state on borders pre-dating Israel's seizure of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967.

Brazil's decision "is regrettable and will only serve to undermine peace and security in the Middle East," charged Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Ros-Lehtinen, set to chair the panel come January, said "responsible nations" would wait to take such a step until Palestinians return to direct talks with Israel and recognize its "right to exist as a Jewish state."

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced the decision Friday in a public letter addressed to Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas and published on the website of Brazil's foreign ministry.

Brazil's decision also drew fire from Democratic Representative Eliot Engel, who said it "is severely misguided and represents a last gasp by a Lula-led foreign policy which was already substantially off track."

Engel tied the move to Lula's "coddling" of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and warned that Brazil "wants to establish itself as a voice in the world, but is making the wrong choices as it tries to do so."

"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 or to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council."

Lula will be stepping down in four weeks' time and handing power over to Dilma Roussef, his protegee and former cabinet chief.

"Brazil is sending a message to the Palestinians that they need not make peace to gain recognition as a sovereign state," said Engel, a co-chair of the US Congress's Brazil Caucus.