Whatever little remains of the so-called Middle East peace process suffered yet another body blow this month, as two of the largest countries in South America formally recognized an independent Palestinian state.
In a statement posted on its website on December 3, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry declared that the country had recognized “Palestine” based on the 1967 borders that existed prior to the Six-Day War.
Argentina quickly followed suit, announcing three days later that President Cristina Fernandez had sent a letter to this effect to Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
And so, just two months after the Palestinians stormed away from talks with Israel, refusing American pleas to return to the negotiating table, Buenos Aires and Brasilia have now decided to reward Ramallah’s intransigence with full-blown recognition of their national aspirations.
Ironically, both Brazil and Argentina seem to think that preempting the outcome of the process somehow brings peace closer. But precisely the opposite is true.
By reinforcing the Palestinian belief that the world is with them no matter what they do, this step serves merely to harden their positions and reduce their incentive to engage in dialogue with the Jewish state.
After all, if the Palestinians can get everything they want via international pressure, what reason would they possibly have to engage in give-and-take with Israel?
So while Brazil and Argentina may profess to be really interested in advancing peace, they have just taken a monumental step backward toward achieving that goal.
Needless to say, this development is also a major setback to these countries’ relations with the Jewish people, which weren’t all that great to begin with.
Both Brazil and Argentina served as welcoming safe havens for Nazi fugitives and other mass murderers, granting refuge to the likes of Josef Mengele and Adolf Eichmann for decades after World War II.
So it is perhaps not surprising that they would now choose to formally recognize the spurious claims of Israel’s foes.
To be fair, Brazil and Argentina are not alone in their folly. Some 104 countries have now recognized an independent Palestinian state, and other South American countries such as Uruguay are soon expected to join this dubious club.
But popularity does not trump truth, and that is what makes the decision to recognize “Palestine” so appalling, because it amounts to nothing less than an outright assault on reality.
Here is one simple fact that seems to have escaped the Brazilians, Argentinians and all those other nations out there: there is not, nor has there ever been in all of history, an independent state of Palestine.
“Palestine” is a fiction. It is a ruse, a con and a subterfuge, perhaps the greatest deception ever perpetrated since scam-artist George C. Parker began “selling” New York landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge to gullible chumps in the late 19th century.
Just take a look at the holy books of the world’s three greatest monotheistic religions: there is no mention of “Palestine” or “Palestinians” in the Torah, nor in the Christian New Testament, nor even in the Muslim Koran.
They all speak of Israel or Judea, not Palestine or Palestinians.
Even the name “Palestine” has nothing to do with Palestinians – it was invented by the Roman Emperor Hadrian to punish the Jews after the Bar-Kochba revolt against his rule. That was over 500 years before Islam was even founded.
To put it quite simply: there is no historical basis to the Palestinian claim to this land.
Just because the United Nations and the Arab states assert otherwise does not make it so.
So whether they realize it or not, Brazil and Argentina have just became the latest dupes to buy the Middle Eastern equivalent of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Consciously or not, they have taken the tall tale told by the Arabs at face value, and conferred legitimacy on a claim with no absolutely no basis whatsoever.
Now just imagine if the tables were turned and Israel decided to meddle in Argentinian affairs the way they have stuck their noses into ours.
Suppose that Jerusalem were to announce that it is formally recognizing the Falkland Islands, which Argentina fought a war over with England back in 1982, as being an integral part of the United Kingdom.
The islands, which Argentina refers to as the Malvinas, have been the subject of a dispute between the two countries since the early part of the 19th century.
So if Israel were to side with Britain on the status of the Falklands, how do you think Argentina would react? By denouncing the Jewish state, of course.
Does this scenario sound silly? Perhaps. But no more so than Buenos Aires’s recognition of a non-existent Palestinian state with imaginary borders.
Sure, Israel’s own government has exacerbated the problem by accepting the principle of a “two-state solution,” making it that much easier for nations around the world to take the next step and recognize “Palestine.”
But that in no way absolves the international community or lends any credence to its behavior.
For no matter how hard they might push to end the conflict by creating a Palestinian state, a peace based on falsehood is not, and never will be, a real peace.
Michael Freund is founder of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based organization that helps “lost Jews” return to Zion. His Jewish Press-exclusive column appears the third week of each month.