Diplomatic ties between Israel and Colombia continue to worsen, and have hit a new low. Colombia's President Gustavo Petro criticized the IDF's airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in a Sunday post on the X platform, likening them to actions taken by Hitler's regime. "This is from the Nazis," he wrote.
The post, originally in Spanish, said: "Nazism is a form of fascism, deeply violent and genocidal. It is based on the belief of a superior race that gives it the right to exterminate and subordinate those who are different, whom it even considers non-human. That is happening in Palestine. Fascism is in each of us. It spreads through unreason, hatred and lies."
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen reacted to the president's comments. "The baseless and antisemitic attacks of the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, against the State of Israel mainly reveal a lack of knowledge and moral blindness. It has been almost two months since the October 7 massacre, and we have yet to hear a firm condemnation from the President of Colombia," Cohen said.
"This atrocity, carried out by the monsters of Hamas, resulted in the murder of over 1,200 Israelis. Entire families were mercilessly executed, children and babies were burned alive, Israeli citizens were beheaded, women were raped and murdered, and 240 Israelis and foreigners were kidnapped to Gaza. The President of Colombia's words display a profound ignorance of history and Holocaust denial. I invite him to visit the Yad Vashem Museum to learn about the history of the Jewish people and the Holocaust before making such comments again," he also said.
President Gustavo Petro has been vehemently critical of Israel since the onset of the conflict, often drawing comparisons between Israel's actions against Palestinians and the Holocaust. In response to this, Israel decided to halt defense exports to Colombia. Consequently, President Petro threatened to sever relations with Israel, stating: "If we have to suspend relations with Israel, we will suspend them. We do not support genocide."
In light of these remarks, Israel summoned the Colombian ambassador for a reprimand at the Foreign Ministry, citing "the hostile and antisemitic statements of the President of Colombia against the State of Israel." Last month, Petro revealed that he was recalling the ambassador from Israel.
Petro is not alone in his stance on the Israel-Hamas war. Joining him is Chilean President Gabriel Boric, who also recalled his country's ambassador.
Meanwhile, Bolivia made a bold declaration that it has cut off diplomatic ties with Israel. "Bolivia has decided to sever diplomatic relations with the State of Israel, in response to the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military attack currently underway in the Gaza Strip," said Freddy Mamani, Bolivia's deputy foreign minister. However, it's worth noting that the ties between these countries were fairly tangential to begin with.
First published: 14:36, 12.04.23