What Diplomatic Implications Do Gustavo Petro’s Statements Have About Israel And Hamas?

Former Colombian foreign ministers criticize Petro's position on Israel and Hamas in a statement. These are the diplomatic implications that, from their perspective, Petro's statements may have.

Gustavo Petro

Photo: Gustavo Petro


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Leer en español: ¿Qué implicaciones diplomáticas tienen las declaraciones de Gustavo Petro sobre Israel y Hamás?

Twelve former Colombian foreign ministers criticized this Tuesday in a statement the position of President Gustavo Petro regarding Hamas' attacks on Israel and the war unleashed in the region, considering that it separates from the country's tradition and weakens national diplomacy.

"The messages from the president of the republic and the Colombian Foreign Ministry radically separate themselves from our country's tradition of respect for international law and multilateralism," the former ministers stated in a joint statement regarding the criticism expressed daily by Petro against Israel.

They also point out that the "content and scope" of Petro's messages about the conflict "remove the possibilities of achieving a policy of consensus in international affairs and weaken the institutionality of our diplomacy."

The declaration was signed by the living former Foreign Ministers of the last 32 years: Noemí Sanín (1991-1994), Rodrigo Pardo (1994-1996), María Emma Mejía (1996-1998), Camilo Reyes (1998), Guillermo Fernández de Soto (1998-2002), Carolina Barco (2002-2006) and María Consuelo Araújo (2006-2007).

It is also signed by former foreign ministers Fernando Araújo (2007-2008), Jaime Bermúdez (2008-2010), María Ángela Holguín (2010-2018), Claudia Blum (2019-2021) and Marta Lucía Ramírez (2021-2022).

Read also: This Is How Latin America Reacts To The Conflict Between Israel And Palestine

Since last weekend when Hamas began attacks against Israel and then that country began the counteroffensive to regain control of its territory – with hundreds of deaths on both sides – Petro has published almost one hundred messages on the X network in which expresses its support for the Palestinian cause, without explicitly condemning Hamas terrorism, which the Foreign Ministry did initially do.

In one of the messages published this Tuesday by the president, who is engaged in a discussion with the world Jewish community, he once again compared the situation in Gaza with the actions of the Nazis in World War II.

"Gaza today appears as destroyed or more than the Warsaw ghetto (sic) after (in) response to the Jewish and socialist insurrection (sic) in that concentration camp it was destroyed by Nazi barbarity," said the president.

Given the president's position, the former foreign ministers affirmed that "there is no justification for the Hamas attacks or for the kidnappings and murders of civilians" and assured that these acts "deserve the firmest rejection and condemnation, since they constitute a serious violation of the United Nations Charter and international standards for the protection of the civilian population".

"The censure of these actions must also demand compliance by the two countries with the United Nations resolutions on the conflict between States, as well as immediate action by the Security Council to ensure international security and peace", they added.

In that sense, they urged the Petro Government to "decisively support the end of aggression between Israel and Palestine and find formulas of agreement that guarantee stability and coexistence in their territories."

Endless controversy

Petro's comments about the war between Israelis and Palestinians in recent days, in which he even compared the situation in Gaza to the Auschwitz concentration camp, have provoked numerous criticisms in the country and harsh responses from Jewish organizations.

"I was already in the Auschwitz concentration camp and now I see it mirrored in Gaza," he said yesterday in a message that was also answered in X by the World Jewish Council (WJC).

"President Gustavo Petro: What you are saying is an insult to the six million victims of the Holocaust and the Jewish people. Your comments here and the others on your page completely ignore the hundreds killed and kidnapped during the murderous Hamas attack against Israeli civilians," said the New York-based organization.

The WJC added that what Petro said "is a shame for you and your country" and added: "A world leader should do better."

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