A Look At The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict From Latin America

There have been many reactions on social networks from Latin American governments, but, beyond social networks, how can the Palestinian-Israeli conflict be read from Latin America? .

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Leer en español: Análisis: Un vistazo al conflicto palestino-israelí desde América Latina

Last Saturday, October 7, in the middle of Shabbat, a day of rest for the Jewish religion, Israel received a cruel attack from the Islamist group Hamas. In response, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, lashed out in a violent speech against the Palestinians. Since then, we have already completed six days of aberrant clashes in Israel and the Gaza Strip.

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

From Latin America, there has been a general condemnation of the cruel violence of this conflict. The governments of many countries have grieved for the Palestinian and Israeli victims. In addition to the governments, from Latin America there is also a lot of opinion and analysis of this conflict on social networks.

Many take a stand and others just want to analyze the situation or put it in context. In any case, the Latin American view of this conflict is, of course, not homogeneous.

Taking a stance: why is it problematic?

It has become a frequent comparison of the Jewish Holocaust during World War II with the Israeli occupation of Palestine. One of those who rushed to do it was the Colombian president, Gustavo Petro . Many believe they are pointing out a paradox when comparing these two historical events, saying that it is "paradoxical" that the Jewish people, victims of a racial genocide, now subject the Palestinian people to equal treatment.

However, this is not so. This comparison is reductionist since it is not the Jewish people that subjugate the Palestinian people; Not even the Jewish people of today are the same as those of the Second War. It is not possible, much less from Latin America, to reduce a people to its rulers.

So the government of Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, is not synonymous with the Jewish people. In the same way that the jihadist group Hamas is not representative of the entire Palestinian territory, much less of the Arab world. So these comparisons, in addition to having diplomatic implications that could exacerbate the conflict from the other side of the planet, are light.

It is time for Latin America to leave the binary conception of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. During the last century it was very common for the countries of the region to take a position in this conflict, depending on the color of the government. Anti-imperialist governments used to declare themselves on the side of Palestine, since the United States has been an ally of Israel. This was the case on this occasion, in which the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, did not condemn the Hamas attacks and rather declared his solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

It is time to take a new look from the region, one that encompasses the complexities and is more compassionate. What has previously been an issue that divides Latin America according to ideology should today unite it since, from the outside, the conflict can be seen from another perspective. The severity of the attacks from both sides in recent days should unite Latin America and the international community on one side: that of the victims and in favor of the cessation of violence.

Beyond social networks

However, not everything has been opinions, analysis and condemnations from social networks. Latin American governments have had to react in other ways to the conflict and have raised the question: what can we do in the region about this issue?

The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, for example, convened the UN Security Council on Saturday, whose meeting took place behind closed doors on Sunday. In addition, this week he also urged the promotion of humanitarian intervention in the Middle East to care for Israeli and Palestinian children.

Relations of Latin America with the Middle East

It is not an arbitrary or strange phenomenon that Latin America is convulsed and impressed with the conflict in the Gaza Strip. Chile, for example, is the country with the largest population of Palestinian origin outside the Middle East.

The Jewish community in Latin America, for its part, reaches 300,000 individuals. Argentina and Brazil are the countries with the largest population of this origin. This region is multicultural and has welcomed persecuted communities from other parts of the world. So the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not indifferent to him.

And historical migration has also occurred in the other direction: Latin American countries have joined forces to bring back their countrymen who are in Israel and the Gaza Strip. Yesterday, Peru confirmed the death of two Peruvians in Israel. He continues to follow up on the missing, among whom he has already located one in Egypt.

Colombia, for its part, started yesterday an operation to repatriate 220 people trapped by the war. Bolivia is also already coordinating the return of its citizens. Finally, the evacuation flights from Madrid include several Latin Americans. Yesterday the second flight landed there with 220 citizens of the European Union and Latin America.

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