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But Iran has been investing heavily in Latin America, establishing strong trading relationships with countries there. Iran, in cooperation with Venezuela, have coordinated diplomatic efforts, and Iran’s Lebanese terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, has been implicated in the Latin American drug trade. Involvement in the smuggling of drugs not only runs counter to American efforts to crush the drug trade and foster good governance in the region, but also provides funds necessary to build Hezbollah’s strength as Iran’s second-strike weapon, aimed at Israel. Meanwhile, even as Iranian diplomacy has been earning it friends and diplomatic support in Latin America, it has continued to flout U.S.-led efforts by the international community to rein in its nuclear programs.
In terms of psychological warfare, in other words, Iran is winning some key battles against the United States in Latin America. The Latin American nations are aware of America’s military and economic strength, but nonetheless, they see with their own eyes Iran’s aggressive posturing in South America while America seems not to notice, so distracted she is by her own serious economic problems. Given that, and America’s often unhappy history with its southern neighbors, it is not surprising that Latin American nations are increasingly taking foreign policy positions contrary to the security interests of the United States and its allies, choosing instead to side with the more confident anti-American voices.
They are not wrong to do so. One might disagree with their decision to recognize Palestine over Israel’s objections, but it makes strategic sense. Israel is virtually alone in the world, actively supported only by Canada and the United States, with some level of grudging support coming from Europe, as well. Israel’s many enemies, on the other hand, are not only determined to see Palestine created regardless of how it impacts on Israel’s security, but cannot help but notice that Israel’s traditional ally, the United States, is under this current administration noticeably less friendly towards the Jewish state. The tide of global public opinion has always gone against Israel. That will only increase as America steps back and more and more countries choose to side with Israel’s enemies, knowing they have nothing to lose.
Thus continues the troubling isolation of the Middle East’s only stable democracy. Israel has enemies to the north, enemies to the south, faces an existential threat from Iran’s nuclear program, can count on no support from the United Nations and must put up with an international community that demands they make peace with people who don’t recognize their right to exist. While Brazil and Argentina might think they’re somehow helping the Palestinian people, the reverse is in fact true. The rising volume of the world’s anti-Israel chorus, and the silence of its largest friend, will only trap the Jewish state further. Does anyone truly expect good things to come of that?
Israel will not accept a Palestinian state on unfair terms, nor will it do nothing while Iran continues to build nuclear bombs. It could use the help of nations such as Brazil and Argentina in its efforts to build a workable peace and contain the Iranian threat. But Israel has learned, as noted journalist Caroline Glick recently wrote, to never count on the international community to save it from its enemies. Israel must look after itself, because no one else will.
Matt Gurney is an editor at the National Post, a Canadian national newspaper, and writes and speaks on military and geopolitical issues. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @mattgurney.
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