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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 10, 2010 / 3 Teves, 5771

Why Latin American turned

By Caroline B. Glick






There is no doubt that the Venezuelan-Iranian alliance and its growing force in Latin America goes a long way towards explaining South America's sudden urge to recognize "Palestine." But there is more to the story


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Israelis can be excused for wondering what happened that 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 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 fails to report on trends anywhere. 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 has consistently ignored the importance for Israel of three trends that made Latin America's embrace of the Palestinians against Israel a predictable conclusion.

Those trends are the rise of Hugo Chavez, the 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 America is lining up to support the Palestinians. They tell us something about how Israel should be acting to advance its interests regarding Iran and the Palestinians moving forward.

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.

Largely out of hatred for America, Chavez has turned to Iran as a strategic ally. Although it raised a few eyebrows when it first came onto the radar screen in 2004, Chavez's choice of Iran as a strategic ally was not a fluke.

Iran's footprint in Latin America has grown gradually. Beginning in the 1980s, Iran has used Latin America as a forward base of operations against the US and the West. It deployed Hizbullah and Revolutionary Guards operatives and other intelligence and terror assets along the largely ungoverned tri-border area between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. That staging ground in turn enabled Iran to bomb Israeli and Jewish targets in Buenos Aires in the early 1990s.

Iran's presence on the continent enabled it to take swift advantage of Chavez's consolidation of power. Since taking office in 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has developed strategic alliances with Venezuela and Nicaragua. With Chavez's assistance, Teheran is expanding its web of alliances throughout Latin America at the expense of the US and Israel.

Bolivia and Venezuela cut their diplomatic ties with Israel in January 2009 after siding with Hamas in Operation Cast Lead. In comments reported in the Hudson New York website, Ricardo Udler, the president of the small Bolivian Jewish community said there is a direct link between Bolivia's growing ties with Iran and its animosity towards Israel. In his words, "Each time an Iranian official arrives in Bolivia there are negative comments against the State of Israel and soon after, the Bolivian authorities issue a communiqué against the Jewish state."

Udler also warned that, as he put it, "there is information from international agencies that indicate that uranium from Bolivia and Venezuela is being shipped to Iran."

On the face of it, Chavez and Ahmadinejad seem like an odd couple. One is a Marxist and the other is a messianic jihadist. But on closer inspection it makes perfect sense. The share the same obsessions with hating the US and loving power.

Chavez has demonstrated his commitment to maintaining power by crushing his opponents, taking control over the judiciary and media, amending the constitution and repeatedly stealing elections.



Meanwhile, the WikiLeaks sabotage campaign against the US gave us a first person account of the magnitude of Ahmadinejad's electoral fraud. In a cable from the US Embassy in Turkmenistan dated 15 June 2009, or three days after Ahmadinejad stole the Iranian presidential elections, the embassy reported a conversation with an Iranian source regarding the true election results. The Iranian source referred to results as a "coup d'etat."

The regime declared Ahmadinejad the winner with 63% of the vote. According to the Iranian source, he received less than a tenth of that amount. As the cable put it, "based on calculations from [opponent Mir Hossain] Mousavi's campaign observers who were present at polling stations around the country and who witnessed the vote counts, Mousavi received approximately 26 million (or 61%) of the 42 million votes cast in Friday's election, followed by Mehdi Karroubi (10-12 million)…. Ahmadinejad received 'a maximum of 4-5 million votes,' with the remainder going to Mohsen Rezai."

There is no doubt that the Venezuelan-Iranian alliance and its growing force in Latin America goes a long way towards explaining South America's sudden urge to recognize "Palestine." But there is more to the story.

The final trend that the media in Israel have failed to notice is the impact of US foreign policy - in South America and the Middle East alike - has had on the positions of nations like Brazil and Argentina towards Israel. During the Bush administration, US Latin America policy was an incoherent bundle of contradictions. On the one hand, the US failed to assist Chavez's opponents overthrow him when they had a chance in 2004. The US similarly failed to support Nicaraguan democrats in their electoral fight against Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega in the 2007 elections. On the other hand, the US did foster strong alliances with Colombia and Honduras.

Under the Obama administration, the US Latin American policy has become more straightforward. The US has turned its back on Colombia and Honduras. US President Barack Obama is interested in appeasing the Chavez crowd and he doesn't mind if that means he has to humiliate himself.

In April 2009 Obama sat through a 50-minute anti-American rant by Ortega at the Summit of the Americas. He then sought out Chavez for a photo-op. In his own address Obama distanced himself from US history saying, "We have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms. But I pledge to you that we seek an equal partnership. There is no senior partner and junior partner in our relations."

Unfortunately, Obama's attempted appeasement hasn't done any good. Nicaragua invaded neighboring Costa Rica last month along the San Juan River. Ortega's forces are dredging the river as part of a plan with Iran to build a canal along the Isthmus of Nicaragua that will compete with the Panama Canal.


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Indeed, even Obama's ambassador in Managua admitted in a recent cable that Ortega remains deeply hostile to the US. In a cable from February illicitly published by WikiLeaks Ambassador Robert Callahan argued that Ortega's charm offensive towards the US was "unlikely to portend a new, friendly Ortega with whom we can work in the long-term."

It is not simply the US's refusal to take defend itself against the likes of Chavez that provoke the likes of Brazil's President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva and Argentina's President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to embrace Chavez and Iran. They are also responding the US's signals towards Iran and Israel.

Obama's policy of engaging and sanctioning Iran has no chance of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and just like the Arabs and the Europeans, the South Americans know it. There is no doubt that at least part of Lula's reason for signing onto a nuclear deal with Ahmadinejad and Tukey's Reccip Erdogan last spring was his conviction that the US has no intention of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear arms.

From his perspective, there is no reason for him to participate in the US charade of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power. He might as well be on the winning side. And since Obama doesn't mind Iran winning, Iran will win.

The same rules apply for Israel. Like the Europeans, the Arabs, the Asians and everyone else, the Latin Americans have clearly noted that Obama's only consistent foreign policy goal is his aim of forcing Israel to accept a hostile Palestinian state and surrender all the land it took control over in 1967 to the likes of PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas and Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. They note that Obama has refused to rule out the possibility of recognizing a Palestinian state even if that state is declared without a peace treaty with Israel. That is, Obama is unwilling to commit himself to not recognizing a Palestinian state that will be in a de facto state of war with Israel.

The impression that Obama is completely committed to the Palestinian cause was reinforced this week rather than weakened with the cancellation of the Netanyahu-Clinton deal regarding the banning of Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. The deal which was to see Israel banning Jewish construction for an additional 90 days in exchange for a US pledge not to ask for any further bans, to support Israel at the UN Security Council for a limited time against a Palestinian push to declare independence without peace, and to sell Israel an additional 20 F-35 fighter jets sometime in the future. It came apart because Obama was unwilling to put Clinton's commitments - meager as they are - in writing. That is, it fell apart because Obama wasn't able to make even a minimal pledge to continue to maintain the US's alliance with Israel.

This policy signals to the likes of Brazil and Argentina and Uruguay that they might as well go with Chavez and Iran and turn their backs on Israel. No one will thank them if they lag behind the US in their pro-Iran, anti-Israel policies. And by moving ahead of the US, they get the credit due to those who stick their fingers in Washington's eye.

When we understand the trends that led to Latin America's hostile act against Israel, we realize two things. First, while Israel might have come up with a way to delay the action, it probably couldn't have prevented it. And second, given the US policy trajectory, it is again obvious that the only one Israel can rely on to defend its interests - against Iran and the Palestinians alike -- is Israel.


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JWR contributor Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post.


© 2009, Caroline B. Glick