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The Attorney General is investigating the rabbis who appealed to Jews to refrain from renting apartments to aliens.

Even in Ukraine they hesitate to prosecute rabbis for the hateful speech in the Talmud.

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

Palestinian guerrillas reportedly succeeded in hitting an Israeli Merkava tank with an RPG in Gaza. For the Arabs, it is a major PR victory which they will try to replicate in future encounters.

One is left to wonder why the tanks were not equipped with the touted Trophy system. Perhaps the system is being withheld from combat units to preserve its false image as a panacea?

Trophy system

December 2010
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