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Geographical limits of US influence

Now that Brazil has recognized Palestine in the 1967 borders and scores of other Latin American countries are ready to follow suit, the question looms, why did our ally not prevent them?

One possibility is that Obama is so much dissatisfied with Netanyahu’s intransigence regarding the freeze that he washed his hands of the Palestinian recognition issue. Netanyahu’s refusal to allow our ally just three more months is indeed unreasonable: construction proceeds at a slow pace anyway, and he could announce the freeze but refrain from enforcing it.

More likely, Obama has very little influence in his own backyard. In that case, we may expect the resumption of the Brazilian and Argentinean nuclear programs, as well as the start of Venezuela’s.

Brazilian recognition of Palestine does not set any new facts on the ground. About a hundred states have already recognized the Palestinian state and established some level of diplomatic relations with it. So wide recognition renders UN approval—which the White House promised to veto—irrelevant.

On other hand, recognition of Palestine as a state cools down international pressure on Israel, which is concentrated around the fact that Palestinian Arabs are refused statehood. The question of borders must be much less important.

Geographical limits of US influence

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Past coverage: Palestine
25.01 Abbas is completely illegal
25.08 Palestinians seek de facto state
29.07 Another honor killing in Gaza
24.04 Palestinians framed the Pope