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Brazil: Recognition of the Palestinian State

Palestine flag

Palestine flag in Brazil, by Flickr user Setesete77 (Creative Commons 2.0: by-nc-sa)

On December 3, 2010 Brazil officially recognized [pt] the Palestinian state within the 1967 borders – before the Six-Day War – by note No. 707 of Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Itamaraty.

Since 1975 Brazil has recognized the PLO – Palestine Liberation Organization – as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Since 1993 it has, in Brazil, had a Special Delegation, and since 1998 the status of Embassy. The recognition came after a letter sent [pt] by the Chairman of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas to the Brazilian President Lula asking for the recognition of a Palestinian state.

Journalist and historian Rafael Fortes, in his blog, comments [pt] on Itamaraty's note, praising the decision, which he considers consistent with the foreign policy practiced by President Lula in recent years:

O texto é claro, direto e correto. Corresponde, aliás, à política externa do Governo Lula, que nada tem de radical, apesar da histeria da mídia gorda (principal partido de direita do Brasil, hoje). Exemplo disso é a intensificação das trocas comerciais com Israel – inclusive pela compra de armas e outros produtos e serviços de segurança e inteligência, cujo “laboratório” são os territórios ocupados e as “cobaias humanas”, a população palestina. Estas trocas comerciais contribuem para o fortalecimento de um país que deveria sofrer boicote da comunidade internacional, tal qual a África do Sul do apartheid.

The text is clear, straightforward and correct. It corresponds, in fact, to the foreign policy of the Lula government, which has nothing radical, despite the fat [big] media hysteria (the main right-wing party in Brazil, nowadays). An example is the intensification of trade with Israel – including the purchase of weapons and other products and security and intelligence services, whose “lab” are the occupied territories and the “human guinea pigs”, the Palestinian population. This trade contributes to the strengthening of a country that should suffer a boycott of the international community, like apartheid South Africa.

Miguel Grazziotin, in his blog, salutes [pt] Brazilian diplomacy's decision, which he considers fair, given that Brazil also recognizes the state of Israel:

Muito acertada a decisão deste presidente, do qual muito me orgulho.
Se existe o reconhecimento de um Estado Judeu, Israel, nada mais justo que o reconhecimento do Estado Palestino.
Embora saibamos que no mundo ocidental, dominado pelos sionistas, há coisas que só o “povo escolhido” pode fazer ou ter…….

Very wise the decision of this president, of which I am very proud.
If there is a recognition of a Jewish state, Israel, the recognition of a Palestinian state seems fair.
Although we know that in the western world, dominated by the Zionists, there are things that only the “chosen people” can do or have …….

Marcos Guterman, in his blog, on the other hand, criticizes [pt] the decision, citing possible mistakes:

Tecnicamente, é um erro falar de um Estado palestino com “fronteiras anteriores à guerra de 1967”. O que há são acordos de armistício, e o que Israel conquistou não foram territórios “palestinos”, mas egípcios (Gaza) e jordanianos (Cisjordânia).

Technically, it is a mistake to speak of a Palestinian state with “the pre-war borders of 1967″. What exist are armistice agreements, and what Israel conquered were not “Palestinians” territories, but Egyptian (Gaza) and Jordanian (West Bank).

Conceição Oliveira, at the blog Maria Frô, considers [pt] that the recognition by the Brazil of the Palestinian state within the 1967 borders was the most important news of the day, and she takes the chance to criticize the Brazilian media coverage of the case:

Diplomacia é isso, aprendam aí gringos, ao invés de ficar bisbilhotando chefes de Estado, façam o que tem de ser feito: contribuam para o diálogo e processo de paz não dizendo amém para o imperialismo da política sionista.
Para mim foi a notícia mais importante do dia, mas os brasileiros preferiram falar e sonhar com IPad e a imprensalona a dar voz ao Estado Sionista.

Diplomacy is this, learn it gringos, instead of snooping heads of state, do what needs to be done: contribute to dialogue and peace process, not saying amen to the imperialism of the Zionist policy.
For me it was the most important news of the day, but the Brazilians preferred to talk and dream about the iPad and the big press giving voice to the Zionist state.

Three days after the Brazilian decision was made, Argentina also announced the recognition of a Palestinian state, as Opera Mundi informs [pt]. Oliveira comments [pt] on the impact that has had in Brazilian media coverage of the issue, given the fact that until then the news had little been noticed on the Brazilian blogosphere and in the press:

Houve pouca repercurssão na blogosfera e na imprensalona o viés de sempre: o que os sionistas acharam da nota do Itamaraty, nenhum linha sobre a repercussão do reconhecimento brasileiro entre os palestinos.
Após a Argentina também reconhecer aos palestinos o direito de constituir um Estado livre e independente os portais brasileiros começaram a dar mais bola para notícia.
Ao menos entre os palestinos as expectativas diante do fato de O Cara reconhecer o direito de formação do Estado Palestino são a de que o ato do presidente Lula produzirá uma onda de apoio à luta de décadas dos palestinos contra a opressão do imperialismo sionista. Acompanhemos.

There was little repercussion in the blogosphere, and in the big press the same bias: what the Zionists thought of the note from the Foreign Ministry, no line on the impact of the Brazilian recognition among Palestinians.
After Argentina also recognized the Palestinians right to establish a free and independent state, Brazilian portals began to pay more attention to the news.
At least the expectations among the Palestinians on the the fact that The Man recognized the right of a Palestinian statehood are that the act of President Lula will produce a wave of support for the decades of Palestinian struggle against the oppression of Zionist imperialism. Let's keep track.
Brazil and Palestine: President Lula da Silva and Mahmoud Abbas

Meeting between President Lula da Silva and Mahmoud Abbas in November 2009. Photo by Manu Dias / AGECOM shared by Flickr user Gov/Ba (Creative Commons 2.0 by)

Claudio Ribeiro at the blog Diversas Palavras [Many Words, pt] also criticizes the media's coverage, accusing it of having ties with American interests – those that are opposed to the recognition of Palestine:

O Brasil não está isolado e nem fazendo “pirotecnia diplomática” ou agindo sem qualquer sintonia com seus pares e/ou vizinhos, como insistem em afirmar os prepostos americanos: grande imprensa local e políticos da oposição.

Brazil is not alone and is not doing “diplomatic pyrotechnics” or acting out of tune with their peers and / or neighbors, as the American agents insist: the big local press and opposition politicians.

For a long time, according to the blog Kaos en la Red [Chaos in the Web, pt/es], Brazil has sought an active position on the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the recognition of the Palestinian state can give more strength to Brazil in  participating in such negotiations. Jorge Seadi, writing for the Sul21 [South21, pt] blog, analyses the meaning of the recognition for the Brazilian government and its practical effects:

O reconhecimento das fronteiras como eram em 1967 significa que, na opinião do governo brasileiro, Israel deve devolver os territórios ocupados — Cisjordânia, Jerusalém Oriental e Faixa de Gaza. O presidente Lula escreveu ao líder palestino que “o reconhecimento de suas fronteiras é parte da convicção brasileira de que um processo negociador que resulte em dois Estados convivendo pacificamente e em segurança é o melhor caminho para a paz no Oriente Médio”.

The recognition of the borders as they existed in 1967 means that, in the opinion of the Brazilian government, Israel should return the occupied territories – West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. President Lula wrote to the Palestinian leader that “the recognition of its borders is part of Brazil's conviction that a negotiating process leading to two States living in peace and security is the best path to peace in the Middle East.”

Georges Bourdukan, on his blog, also adds [pt] that the United States criticized Brazil's decision to recognize the Palestinian state, and offers reasons, such as the necessity for the U.S. to maintain its burgeoning war industry through the support given to Israel:

Criticar a atitude brasileira é querer transformar o Brasil no Iran da vez.
Os Estados Unidos, por, exemplo, consideraram “lamentável” e “imprudente” a decisão brasileira.
O que confirma, mais uma vez, que os Estados Unidos farão de tudo, como têm feito até hoje, para impedir a criação do Estado palestino.
É fundamental para eles que não haja Estado palestino.
Um Estado palestino significa o início do fim do atual estado de Israel, cujos dirigentes, como se sabe, transformaram o país num posto militar.
Israel existe para manter florescente a indústria bélica e a sobrevivência dos EUA.

To criticize the Brazilian attitude is turning Brazil into the Iran of the moment.
The United States, for, example, considered the Brazilian decision ”regrettable” and “reckless”.
This confirms, once again, that the United States will do everything, as they have up to today, to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state.
It is crucial to them that there is no Palestinian state.
A Palestinian state means the beginning of the end of the current state of Israel, whose leaders, as is known, transformed the country into a military post.
Israel exists to maintain a flourishing arms industry and the survival of the USA.

The MOPAT (Movement Palestine for All) welcomed Lula's decision, but asked him to for more concrete actions against what they call the “Zionist occupation” of Palestine.

The Israeli government, according to Braulio Wanderley from the blog História Vermelha [Red History, pt] condemned the recognition, saying that it “does not help, but hinders the peace process.”

This post was proofread by Marta Cooper

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