Four senators this week called on the presidents of Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador and Peru to restore diplomatic relations with Israel.
The Latin American countries yanked their ambassadors from the Jewish state in protest of the operations in Gaza, with Brazil calling the IDF action a “disproportionate use of force.”
“This is an unfortunate demonstration of why Brazil, an economic and cultural giant, remains a diplomatic dwarf,” Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said in return. “The moral relativism behind this move makes Brazil an irrelevant diplomatic partner, one who creates problems rather than contributes to solutions.”
Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) sent letters Monday to each of the countries involved in the diplomatic spats, saying they were “deeply disappointed by your government’s decision to recall your Ambassador to Israel ‘in protest’ against Israel’s legitimate military operations to restore deterrence against rocket attacks and terrorist tunnels designed by Hamas to kill Israeli civilians.”
“Hamas is a terrorist organization committed to using violence as a political tool and denying Israel’s right to exist. Hamas leaders have violated international law by promoting the use of civilians as human shields, and have rejected multiple cease fire offers that could save lives on both sides of this conflict,” they wrote. “All loss of innocent lives during this conflict is tragic, but your government’s decision to downgrade diplomatic relations with Israel at this critical time will only embolden Hamas leaders to continue on the current course of indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli civilians rather than working with the Israeli government to achieve a sustainable cease fire arrangement.”
“Your actions send a troubling message to the United States about your government’s commitment to long-lasting peace between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.”
The bipartisan group encouraged each president to “return your Ambassador to Israel, as a symbol of your country’s steadfast commitment to achieving an enduring peace in the Middle East and the fight against the scourge of international terrorism.”