Diplomatic relations between Colombia and Israel seem to be reaching their breaking point, after President Gustavo Petro once again compared the Jewish country to the Nazi regime and stated that “Hitler will be defeated.”
Since Hamas attacked Israel, the Colombian president has shared more than 170 publications expressing his support for Palestine and criticizing the Israeli government while comparing it to Hitler's genocidal regime.
Isael takes action as a reprimand
In response to the “hostile and anti-Semitic” statements of the Colombian president, Israel first decided to summon Margarita Manjarrez, Colombia's ambassador to Israel, to a reprimand meeting and announced the halt of security exports to the Latin American country.
“At the meeting it was made clear to the ambassador that her statements were received in Israel with astonishment in the face of the savage terrorist attack by Hamas terrorists who murdered more than 1,300 Israelis and kidnapped more than 150,” reported the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat.
In his statement, Haiat explained that Petro's statements not only "reflect support for the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists ," but also "stoke anti-Semitism, affect the representatives of the State of Israel and threaten the peace of the Jewish community in Colombia.”
Por instrucción del Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores Eli Cohen, el Subdirector General para América Latina en la cancillería israelí, Emb. Jonathan Peled, convocó a la embajadora de Colombia en Israel, Margarita Manjarrez, para una conversación de reprimenda, tras las… pic.twitter.com/vJEfvVlikG
— Lior Haiat 🇮🇱 (@LiorHaiat) October 15, 2023
Petro threatens to suspend relations
Following Israel's announcement, the Colombian president once again shared a post blaming the Jewish country for triggering violence and once again compared it to Hitler.
“If we have to suspend foreign relations with Israel, we suspend them. We do not support genocides. The president of Colombia is not insulted,” Petro said even though he has been the one who has repeatedly criticized Israel through social networks.
Petro also asked Latin American countries throughout the region to show solidarity with Colombia and assured that Israel is the one that should apologize for the acts committed by Yair Klein (a mercenary accused of providing weapons to paramilitaries in Colombia) and the deceased general Rafael Eitan (former commander-in-chief of the Israel Defense Forces).
“Neither the Yair Klein nor the Raifal Eithan will be able to say what the history of peace in Colombia is. They unleashed the massacre and genocide in Colombia (…) Someday the army and the government of Israel will ask us for forgiveness for what their men did in our land, unleashing the genocide. I will hug them and cry for the murder of Auschwitz and Gaza, and for the Colombian Auschwitz,” he said, adding that “Hitler will be defeated for the good of humanity.”
Si hay que suspender relaciones exteriores con Israel las suspendemos. No apoyamos genocidios.
Al presidente de Colombia no se le insulta.
Convoco a América Laltina a una solidaridad real con Colombia. Y si no es capaz, será el desarrollo de la historia la que dirá la última… https://t.co/WpafrsWkC2
— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) October 15, 2023
Reactions to Petro's recent statements
A member of the European Parliament, Hermann Tertsch, reacted to the latest statements of the Colombian president: "Gustavo Petro, as a retired terrorist, has affection for the Hamas terrorists. And Petro does not realize that the person who most insults the presidency of Colombia is him maintaining a position that he obtained illegitimately," he wrote.
Gustavo Petro como terrorista jubilado tiene afecto a los terroristas de Hamás. Y Petro no se da cuenta de que quien más insulta a la presidencia de Colombia es él manteniéndose en un cargo que consiguió ilegítimamente.
— Hermann Tertsch (@hermanntertsch) October 15, 2023
Other users on social networks also criticized the Colombian president's position.
Más bien deberíamos convocar a referéndum revocatorio, lo queremos fuera de la presidencia. Usted no nos representa.
— Luis Fernando Guerra (@GuerraEnRED) October 15, 2023
La temeridad del presidente pone en riesgo a Colombia. Sus acciones hacia Israel no son valientes, son irresponsables. Esta no es la manera de liderar un país. Su manejo de las relaciones exteriores daña todo lo construido. Quizás Petro no se da cuenta de que él y sus seguidores…
— Tatiana Alvear (@TatianaAlvearC) October 15, 2023
Petro prefiere llévanos al ostracismo como nación y entablar relaciones con Rusia e Irán. ¡Torpe!
— Luis David Caro (@LuisDavidCaro) October 15, 2023