The Gaza Assaults Deepen Strain in Latin America's Ties with Israel

Brazil's president condemned the October 7 attack by Hamas, calling it a "terrorist act"

by Sededin Dedovic
The Gaza Assaults Deepen Strain in Latin America's Ties with Israel
© Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

Left-wing leaders in Latin America are reevaluating their relations with Israel in light of the recent military attacks on the Gaza Strip, raising concerns about the diplomatic risks associated with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's actions against Hamas militants.

This information has been reported by Radio Free Europe (RSE) as part of its global media coverage. On October 31, Colombia and Chile recalled their ambassadors to Israel for consultations to protest the Gaza attack. Meanwhile, Bolivia's left-leaning government severed all ties with Israel, accusing it of "crimes against humanity." Chilean President Gabriel Boric, speaking on the X network, stated that Israel's actions in Gaza "violate the fundamental principles of international law." Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who was previously critical of Israel, described the military's actions as a "massacre." These diplomatic actions indicate that these three Latin American countries are aligning with Muslim nations, including Turkey, Malaysia, and Jordan, which invited ambassadors for consultations on November 1 as a sign of protest, demonstrating increasingly strong criticism of Israel, as reported by Bloomberg.

Brazil introduced a resolution calling for a temporary halt to the conflict to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza

Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina, the three largest countries in Latin America, adopted a more moderate stance.

They evacuated their citizens from the region and sought to de-escalate the conflict while expressing their concerns about Israel's actions. The President of Brazil, for instance, condemned the October 7 attack by Hamas as a "terrorist act." However, he also noted at the end of October that "the actions in Gaza are not a war but a genocide," according to Bloomberg.

During October, when the Hamas attack on Israel occurred, Brazil held the presidency of the United Nations Security Council. They introduced a resolution calling for a temporary halt to the conflict to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, but the United States vetoed it.

Subsequently, the U.S. proposed a resolution that supported Israel's right to self-defense and called for the release of hostages held by Hamas militants, as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. This resolution was vetoed by China and Russia.

In response to Bolivia's decision to sever ties with Israel, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Hayat criticized the move as a "surrender to terrorism." He also urged Colombia and Chile to "clearly condemn the terrorist organization Hamas, which has targeted innocent civilians, including babies, children, women, and the elderly," while emphasizing the importance of supporting a democratic nation's right to protect its citizens.

Freddy Mamani Machaka, Bolivia's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated that their decision reflects "the rejection and condemnation of the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip and the threat it poses to international peace and security," as reported by The Guardian.

The relationship between Israel and Colombia has been friendly for years, but after the development of events following the attack by Hamas militants on Israel on October 7, it deteriorated. The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, was very critical of the Israeli government.

Namely, after the Israeli Minister of Defense described Hamas as "human animals" during the announcement of the siege of Gaza, writes the New York Times, Pedro posted a comment on the X social network - "This is what the Nazis said about the Jews."