Steven is 8 years old, from El Salvador, and one of the hundreds of children who trekked across the U.S.–Mexico border this year for a better life. Hear his family explain why.
Throughout Latin America, criticism of Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip is on the rise. Nations with a colonial history of their own regard Israel as an occupying power.
In Latin America, Brazil is on the forefront of politics critical of Israel.
After Brazil recalled its ambassador to Israel for consultations in July, several other countries in the region quickly followed suit: Chile, Peru, El Salvador, Ecuador and Nicaragua.
In 2009, Venezuela and Bolivia cut diplomatic ties with Israel, expressing disgust at the country’s actions during “Operation Cast Lead” – a three-week conflict that included an Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip and caused heavy civilian casualties.
The following year, after Israel’s raid on the Mavi Marmara flotilla that killed 10 people, Nicaragua announced it would suspend ties with Israel.
Since the beginning of Israel’s current offensive on the Gaza Strip against Hamas, five Latin American countries – Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Chile and El Salvador – have withdrawn their ambassadors to Israel in protest. Meanwhile, Bolivia has dubbed Israel a “terrorist state” and rescinded its visa-free policy for Israeli travellers, and Chile has also suspended free-trade negotiations with Israel.
Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru have also recalled ambassadors to protest Israel’s operation in Gaza Strip.
Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet waves as she leaves the Itamaraty Palce after the 6th BRICS summit and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), in Brasilia July 16, 2014.
By: Barak Ravid
El Salvador recalled its Israeli ambassador from Tel Aviv on Wednesday to protest the military operation in Gaza, making it the fifth Latin American country to do so.
Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru have already recalled their ambassadors.
Yigal Palmor, the spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, said recalling ambassadors encourages Hamas.
“Israel expresses its deep disappointment with the hasty decision of the governments of El Salvador, Peru and Chile to recall their ambassadors for consultations,” said Palmor. “This step constitutes encouragement for Hamas, a group recognized as a terror organization by many countries around the world.”
Such countries are handing are handing terrorists a prize, said Palmor.