WASHINGTON (JTA) -- It’s time for the West to woo Latin America -- some will say it's about time.
The United States and Israel appear to be heading toward increasing their focus on the area following years of neglect that has resulted in closer ties between Latin America and Iran -- and gains for the Palestinians. The shift comes amid Iran’s deepening influence in the region, as well as the successes of a Palestinian diplomatic offensive that has seen eight Latin American nations agree to recognize a Palestinian “state” in recent months.
I had a call today from a pro-peace process activist who expressed cautious excitement about what he termed “new hope for progress” on the Israeli-Syrian front (see this week's Jewish Week editorial here).
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Some 10 European Union countries have plans to upgrade the status of their Palestinian diplomatic missions, lead negotiator Saeb Erekat said.
The upgrades would bring the missions one step closer to becoming embassies whose officials enjoy full diplomatic immunity, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Norway decided last week to upgrade the status of its Palestinian mission, which encouraged the Palestinians to approach several European countries about following suit, Erekat told the Palestinian Ma'an news service.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Richard Holbrooke, the legendary U.S. diplomat who brokered a Balkan peace and who enjoyed talking about his Jewish roots, has died.
Holbrooke, who was the Obama administration's envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan when he died, suffered a torn aorta on Friday and was hospitalized. The State Department announced his death on Monday. He was 69.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A careful reading of the WikiLeaks trove of State Department cables -- which is laying bare some 250,000 secret dispatches detailing private conversations, assessments and dealmaking of U.S. diplomats -- reveals a notable if perhaps surprising pattern: how often they get things wrong.
Again and again the cables show diplomats, lawmakers and heads of state predicting outcomes that never come to pass.
On one hand, this weekend's WikiLeaks dump of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables was a letdown after all the media hype. There were lots of interesting bits and pieces, few bombshells.
A nervous Israel, it seems, will come away from the information avalanche without much diplomatic damage – not like Saudi Arabia, perhaps, which was revealed to be pushing for a U.S. attack to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian leaders make so many shocking statements that many people focus only on their words. But the real action and cause for concern lie in their deeds. Iran is embarking on an increasingly aggressive campaign of diplomacy that would be replete with irony were it not so dangerous.