by Adam Keller
Last week, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Eilon (yes, that non-diplomatic diplomat who likes to humiliate ambassadors by seating them on low chairs) went off urgently to the conference of the Organization of American States in El Salvador, in a final attempt to halt the diplomatic erosion among Latin American countries, which are one by one announcing their intention to recognize a Palestinian State at the crucial vote expected to take place in the UN Assembly General in September this year.
It's a bit reminiscent of historical events. Also in 1947 the representatives of the State in Being, the Israel which had not yet come into being, went among the Latin American countries and made great efforts to get their support for a crucial vote at the UN. And at that time, efforts were crowned with great success. Abba Eban, head of the Zionist delegation and future Foreign Minister of Israel, succeeded in creating a solid block of the Latin American ambassadors to the United Nations, a significant bloc of votes in favor of the Partition of the territory of Mandatory Palestine into two states, a Jewish one and an Arab one.
Without this Latin American bloc, the Partition Plan would not have been adopted, and perhaps the State of Israel would not have come come into being. The State of Israel gave recognition and thanks to the ambassadors who took part in this great effort - Osvaldo Aranha of Brazil and Enrique Fabregat of Uruguay and Jorge Granados of Guatemala. Streets were named after them in towns and villages throughout Israel, and monuments erected in memory of those friends who stood by Israel at the hour or need.
And what is the situation today? Brazil already supports the creation of the State of Palestine, as do Uruguay, and Argentina. Deputy Minister Ayalon is left like the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. What happened here? What happened to that friendship? Why do they abandone us in the lurch? But in fact, the Latin Americans have not changed so much. In 1947 they supported the partition of this land into two states, and today they support the same principle. (If anything, now they are willing to grant Israel more territory than in 1947, and the Palestinians – much less).
The one who has changed very much is the State of Israel. Those who sixty-four years ago struggled fiercely to get the United Nations to decide for partition and who danced all night with joy in the streets of Tel Aviv when the Assembly General so decided, are now fighting tooth and nail to prevent the UN from deciding again for partition. No partition, no partition, for God's sake! Dear Mr. Ambassador, can you not grant us this boon and vote "No", just this time? Please, please...
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|Liaquat Ali Khan|