Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Venezuela & Bolivia Sever Diplomatic Ties With Israel

The far left wing governments of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia have broken off diplomatic ties with Israel.

This development is no surprise. Chavez, Morales and other left wing leaders in South America like Rafael Correa in Ecuador and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua have been courting Iran which wants Israel wiped off the map. Isn't it funny that Iran is supplying Hamas with rockets to launch into Israel? Isn't it also funny that neither Chavez nor Morales had any objections when Hamas launched rockets into Israel?

Chavez's animus to Israel goes back at least to December 2004 when his commandos raided a private Jewish school in Caracas. During the 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Chavez recalled the Israeli Ambassador claiming that Israel was committing a Holocaust in Lebanon and compared Israel to the Nazis.

When Israel began its incursion into Gaza, Chavez responded by expelling the Israeli Ambassador. Venezuela's Foreign Ministry accused Israel of "state terrorism" and of deliberately targeting women, children and the elderly. Chavez wants Israel's leaders brought before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Earlier in the day, Bolivian President Morales announced they too would be ending diplomatic relations with Israel. While Bolivia might have severed ties first he doesn't do anything without Chavez's blessing. Morales called Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Israeli President Shimon Peres "war criminals."

One could dismiss Chavez and Morales as buffoons but they (Chavez in particular) wield influence in Latin America and left-wingers around the globe. What happens if supposedly more moderate left leaning governments in South America like President Lula in Brazil or President Bachelet in Chile follow suit? It will contribute to the international delegitimization of Israel which is well under way. Is regaining America's reputation in the world important enough to Obama to throw Israel under the bus? We might find out sooner rather than later.

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