Wasserman Schultz, Diaz-Balart Condemn Bolivia, Colombia, Chile for Cutting Israel Ties

Wasserman Schultz, Diaz-Balart Condemn Bolivia, Colombia, Chile for Cutting Israel Ties

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
November 3, 2023

The Israel-Hamas war continues to polarize, not just in the United States but around the world. The South American countries of Bolivia, Colombia, and Chile have recalled their ambassadors to Israel in protest of their actions against Hamas. Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and other members of the Latino-Jewish Caucus have released a bipartisan statement condemning the three countries' actions.

Bolivia, under its President Luis Arce, announced Monday they would sever ties with Israel completely "in repudiation and condemnation of the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offensive taking place in the Gaza Strip," as its Deputy Foreign Minister Freddy Mamani said.

Additionally, President Arce spoke on social media, calling for a ceasefire: "We reject the war crimes being committed in Gaza. We support international initiatives to guarantee humanitarian aid, in compliance with international law."

Similarly, Chile's President Gabriel Boric recalled their envoy to the Jewish State in protest of their retaliation against Hamas, saying while they condemn Hamas' original attack, "There's no doubt we can say the response has been disproportionate and is violating international humanitarian law. The right of a state to defend itself has limits, and those limits imply respecting the lives of innocent civilians, especially children, and respecting civil humanitarian law," during a meeting with President Biden.

In October, Colombia's President Gustavo Petro gave a lengthy statement on X (formerly Twitter) saying, "If we have to suspend foreign relations with Israel, we suspend them. We do not support genocides," which received condemnation by Representative Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL).

Rep. Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Diaz-Balart called the actions of these three countries "appalling" in their statement, adding, "We concur with the Israeli government's assessment that these decisions mark "a surrender to terrorism and to the Ayatollah's regime in Iran."

Furthermore, they said Jewish Latinos "strongly support Israel's right to defend itself" and "have condemned the use of antisemitic rhetoric and incitement of violence by Colombian President Petro, Chilean President Boric, and Bolivian President Arce."

"As leaders of the Congressional Latino-Jewish Caucus and the Congressional Colombia Caucus who have prioritized improving trilateral relations between the U.S., Latin America, and Israel, this evident contempt for Israel and the Jewish people is a deeply disappointing setback that we will endeavor to reverse," the statement concluded.

On X, the American Jewish Committee commended Wasserman Schultz and Diaz-Balart for issuing the statement, saying, "Now more than ever, strong trilateral ties between the U.S., Israel, and Ibero-American countries are needed to counter Hamas terror, repel Iran's dangerous influence, and ensure the future prosperity of Israelis, Palestinians, and Ibero-American Jewish communities."

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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