Saturday, July 22, 2006

It appears that Zap has put his foot in it big-time with his statements on the Israeli-Hezbollah war and especially with his appearance wearing a kefiya or however it's spelled.

Even El Periodico says in the second paragraph of its lead international story:

Everything may have been a misunderstanding, but the three times Zapatero has spoken about the conflict in Lebanon he has given the impression that he condemned Israeli bellicism more severely than the European Union. He has consistently called for "the cease of hostilities" between both sides, but at first he said, "Israel is wrong, since one thing is self-defense and another thing launching a generalized attack on Lebanon." Then he demanded that Israel "respect human rights and international law," and finally he accused Israel of "using abusive force against innocent civilians." And, to top it off, on Wednesday he posed in Alicante with a kufika--the Palestinian scarf--around his neck."

The rumors going around are that Zap has consistently been very critical of Israel in private, to the point of near-obsession.

Israel, of course, is extremely angry, and the Israeli ambassador warned that "relations between Spain and Israel are not at a good moment." Translation: Zap, who would love to play peacemaker, will have a total of zero influence at any possible peace deal. Impotent and powerless. Zap's Alliance of Civilizations, an idiotic attempt to set up some sort of parallel UN, seems even more worthless every day.

Get this. Zap is so desperate to play some sort of international role that he and Turkish prime minister Erdogan have volunteered themselves, as co-sponsors of the Alliance of Civilizations, as mediators. They sent out a communique condemning "all forms of terrorism," warning that "we cannot accept bombs or missiles falling on the civil population," and "firmly censuring the disproportionate use of force." Yeah, that sounds real neutral and even-handed.

Spanish commentators like to say that Spain is particularly influential in the Islamic world because of historical connections, something that I do not believe in the least. And if they do have any influence, it hasn't done a damn bit of good.

By the way, Spain did not establish diplomatic relations with Israel until 1986.

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