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Colombian president who compares Israel to Nazis ends purchase of arms from Jewish state

“This is called genocide and is reminiscent of the Holocaust even if the world powers do not like to recognize it,” Gustavo Petro said of dozens of deaths during aid delivery in Gaza.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro during a debate on Nov. 22, 2021. Credit: Arturo Larrahondo/Shutterstock.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro during a debate on Nov. 22, 2021. Credit: Arturo Larrahondo/Shutterstock.

Gustavo Petro, the president of Colombia, compared Israel to the Nazis and said on Thursday that the South American country would no longer purchase weapons from the Jewish state.

“Asking for food, more than 100 Palestinians were killed by Netanyahu. This is called genocide and is reminiscent of the Holocaust even if the world powers do not like to recognize it,” Petro wrote in Spanish on social media. “The world must block Netanyahu.”

The leftist leader added that “Colombia suspends all purchases of weapons from Israel.”

On Friday, Petro retweeted a post by a 21-year-old student with more than 250,000 followers, who wrote, in Spanish: “The Israeli government says they shot at civilians waiting for food because there were so many of them and the situation was getting out of control. What a cynical justification. There wouldn’t be a crowd desperate for food if they weren’t planned to be starved to death.”

The U.S. State Department has said it doesn’t have enough facts yet to comment on what happened during the aid delivery, and the U.S. delegation to the United Nations blocked a U.N. Security Council statement condemning Israel for the deaths and injuries Thursday morning during a chaotic attempt to deliver humanitarian aid near Gaza City.

Petro has repeatedly compared Israel to Nazis on social media.

“The state of Israel is one thing and the Jewish religion is another, just as the Colombian state is one thing and the Catholic religion is another,” he wrote in Spanish on May 2, 2019. “Confusing state and religion is typical of the archaic mentality. The State of Israel discriminates against Palestinians like the Nazis discriminate against Jews.”

On Oct. 8, the day after Hamas terrorists attacked Israel, Petro wrote in Spanish that he would have fought on the Jewish side if he lived in 1933 Germany, and on the Palestinian side if he lived in “Palestine” in 1948.

Biden Gustavo Petro
U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Colombian President Gustavo Petro in the Oval Office of the White House on April 20, 2023. Credit: Adam Schultz/White House.

“Now the neo-Nazis want the destruction of the Palestinian people, freedom and culture. Now, democrats and progressives want peace to prevail and the Israeli and Palestinian people to be free.”

He added that “the Palestinian people experience one of the worst injustices in the contemporary world.”

The following day—two days after Hamas’s attack—the Colombian president responded to reports of an Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip. 

“This is what the Nazis said about the Jews. Democratic peoples cannot allow Nazism to reestablish itself in international politics. Israelis and Palestinians are human beings subject to international law,” he wrote in Spanish.

On Dec. 2, Petro wrote in Spanish, “They say this is not Nazis. Even if the Western conscience does not like these facts, the extermination of 5,300 Palestinian boys and girls is Nazis, I repeat NAZIS.” 

The following day, he again compared Israel to Nazis. “Nazism is a form of fascism, deeply violent and genocidal. It is based on the belief of a superior race that gives it the right to exterminate and subordinate those who are different, whom it even considers non-human,” he wrote in Spanish. “That is happening in Palestine. Fascism is in each of us. It spreads through unreason, hatred and lies.”

One of the “contemporary examples” that is part of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHAR)’s working definition of antisemitism is “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

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