Israel has recently halted security exports to Colombia after President Gustavo Petro made multiple public statements relating the Israeli government to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis while also claiming that Gaza has become a concentration camp through the hands of Israel. Israel exported a whopping $139 million worth of goods to Columbia in 2022, everything from electrical equipment to air and spacecrafts last year, but with this deepening rift between the two countries, many are wondering what exactly happened and what exactly did President Petro say?
It didn’t take long for the recently elected left-wing president to show his hostility toward Israel and its defensive measures. On October 7th at 1:17pm, President Petro retweeted on X (formerly known as Twitter) Mahmoud Abbas’s statement claiming that Palestine has “the right to defend ourselves against settler terrorism.” Later, President Petro began his own tweets relating the “Russian occupation of Ukraine” to the “Israeli occupation of Palestine,” and less than two hours later he called for a two-state solution. Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of his continual bashing of Israel. His X feed is filled with accusations against Israel, its government, and its soldiers, claiming that “neo-Nazis want the destruction of the Palestinian people, freedom, and culture,” Gaza is being “converted into a concentration camp,” that if the “hate speech” continues, it will “only bring a holocaust,” and that, “Hamas is the invention of Mossad to divide the Palestinian people and have the excuse of punishing them.” He later posted that “Hitler will be defeated for the good of humanity, its democracy, peace, and freedom of the world.”
Remarks such as these make it entirely understandable as to why Israel would respond to these accusations by halting security exports. Many departments and organizations within Colombia have spoken out against President Petro’s remarks – the Confederation de Comunidades Judias de Colombia reposted a tweet by U.S. Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, condemning President Petro’s comments with their own additional comment, expressing how dismayed they were to see President Petro’s comparison of the Israeli government with Hitler’s genocidal regime. However, that hasn’t seemed to discourage President Petro from further escalating his blatant disregard for Colombia’s relationship with Israel. In response to Israel’s decision to halt security exports, he tweeted: “If we have to suspend foreign relations with Israel, we suspend them. We do not support genocides.” On October 16th, Colombian Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva tweeted that the Israeli ambassador showed “senseless arrogance” toward President Petro and continued by sharing, “Shame. Minimum make excuses and leave.” This response followed Israeli Ambassador Gali Dagan’s expression of criticism toward the President’s remarks.
There has been no escalation from either side as of present, however, both countries seem to be holding their respective positions. To ensure the safety of Jews, not only in Colombia, but throughout Israel and the world, each individual must combat the corrupt ideology that Israel has become its own type of Nazi regime simply for defending itself and its citizens against barbaric terrorism.