Wed, Dec 08, 2010 | The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
Several Latin American Countries Recognize a Palestinian State with the 1967 Borders
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, president of Brazil, sent an official letter to Ramallah recognizing a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders (Wafa News Agency, December 3, 2010). Argentina made a similar declaration, but stated that it did not conflict with Israel’s right to exist “in peace and security.” Uruguay also stated its intention to do the same.
It was apparently a joint decision of the Mercosur block, a South American trade alliance. Other Latin American countries, such as Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay are expected to do so in the near future. It would seem that Japan and the European Union have also expressed support, but apparently not official recognition (Ma’an News Agency, December 5, 2010; Wafa News Agency and The Examiner, December 6 2010; arirang.co.kr and mercopress.com, December 7, 2010).
Behind the announcements is Mahmoud Abbas’ political activity to promote international recognition of a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders. For example, during his visit to Turkey on December 6 he asked President Erdogan to “convince many countries” to recognize such a state if the negotiations with Israel failed (Wafa News Agency, December 6, 2010).
In response, Yigal Palmor, spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry, said that a disappointing and saddening step had been taken which would make no contribution whatsoever to the peace process. He called it a verbal gesture in violation of the Oslo Accords, according to which the final status arrangement can only be arrived at through negotiations (Ynet, December 6, 2010).
 Mercosur [Spanish: Mercado Común del Sur] or Mercosul [Portuguese: Mercado Comum do Sul] is a full customs union and has four full members, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. Venezuela is waiting for authorization [only by Paraguay] to join. Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru currently have associate member status. Mexico serves as an observer. Israel and Egypt are currently the only non-South American free trade partners.