Colombian president says those who say he is anti-Semitic are 'ignorant'

Gustavo Petro assured that 'Hitler is being resurrected' in Israel-Hamas war

Laura Gamba  | 16.10.2023 - Update : 16.10.2023
Colombian president says those who say he is anti-Semitic are 'ignorant'

BOGOTA, Colombia

Colombian President Gustavo Petro has been rebutting accusations of anti-Semitism amid the Israel-Hamas conflict for days now, saying on Monday that those who call him an "anti-Semite" and point to him for allegedly supporting Hamas in the midst of the war are "ignorant".

"I have been accused of being anti-Semitic and supporting Hamas. Ignorant. I cannot defend an organization that sustains the fusion between Religion and State because we fight it in our own country, and because the vision of those who believe they are the chosen people and superior race leads to the massacre of other peoples", Petro said on X.

The president said that neither he nor his family supported Adolf Hitler "as did the oligarchy and the press that attacks me".

Petro has defended his position after he has been criticized for his stances on the conflict.

"They are resurrecting Hitler in the times of the climate crisis and he returns exactly the same with his concentration camps and the complete destruction of the peoples. Hitler is reborn as a practice of political and economic power, on the very division of humanity, on its weaknesses and its fears. The fear of the different is the father of Hitler".

Diplomatic relations between Colombia and Israel seem to be deteriorating by the hour after Petro threatened on Sunday to break relations with Israel in response to the suspension of exports of security equipment from that country. On Monday, Colombian Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva asked Israeli ambassador to "apologize" and "leave" the country after the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs had previously summoned Colombia's ambassador and reprimanded her for "hostile and anti-Semitic" comments by Petro, who has refused to condemn the recent attack by Hamas on Israel.

"The annals of universal diplomacy will remember Israel's ambassador in Colombia's baseless rudeness toward President Gustavo," said Leyva. He called for an apology and the ambassador's departure, emphasizing that diplomacy should be based on intelligence and that the interests of entire nations are at stake.

Petro also drew parallels between the tragic deaths of children in Palestine and Colombian minors killed in bombings.

"There are 1,030 children killed in Palestine. The barbarity. Every 15 minutes a child is murdered in the land where a religion based on love was born. In Colombia, 350 children were killed by bombing in this century and 6,402 unarmed young people were killed in just a few years," Petro pointed out.

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