The war in Gaza is escalating. And Latin American analysts say a regional bloc in support of Palestine. It could begin to emerge in what would be an unusual development.
According to Arab News, the process began on October 31, when Bolivia announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Israel due to attacks on Gaza.
Sheikh Isa Amir Koyodo, a political scientist of Palestinian origin who leads an Islamic center in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, said that the government’s decision was welcomed by the country’s Muslims with great joy.
“When Someone countries commit crimes against humanity, high pressure should be put on them,” he said. These indiscriminate airstrikes should stop.
He expressed happiness that Bolivia is sending 73 tonnes of food to Gaza. And hoped that other nations would follow such step in support of Palestine.
Immediately after Bolivia’s announcement, the presidents of Chile and Colombia recalled their ambassadors from Israel for consultations.
On October 31, on his X (Twitter) account. Chilean President Gabriel Borque referred to Israel’s “unacceptable violations of international humanitarian law” in Gaza.
“Chile condemns and views with great concern such a military operation, which is currently a collective punishment for the civilian population in Gaza. They do not respect the basic principles of international law. Which has resulted in the deaths of more than 8,000 civilians, mostly women and children.
Chile has the world’s largest Palestinian population outside the Middle East, at 600,000. It is an organised and influential community.
But Professor Pablo Alvarez Cabello, an expert on Middle East and Latin American relations at the University of Diego Portales in San Diego, said Chile would probably not cut ties because “its relations with Israel and the United States are very important.”
In an interview after his meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House. The Chilean president said that he expressed his concern about the developments in Gaza, during the meeting. And said that Israel would respond to the October 7 attack by Hamas. The response is asymmetric.
Likewise, a Colombian government statement on October 31 said that Bogota “strongly rejects the actions of the Israeli security forces in densely populated areas in Gaza.”
Since October 7, President Gustavo Pietro has made dozens of posts on X (Twitter) strongly criticising Israel’s attack on Gaza. About it point, he even compared same Israel to the Nazis.
Israel later suspended exports of military equipment to Colombia, but Petro said he was prepared to cut ties with Tel Aviv if necessary.
On November 1, Argentina and Mexico criticised Israel’s bombing of the Jabalia refugee camp and other sites in Gaza, which is significant because those countries are considered close to Israel.
November 3, Honduras announced that it would recall its ambassador from Israel for consultations. Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reyna referred to the “serious humanitarian situation affecting the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip.”
In an interview with the Honduran newspaper La Prensa, Deputy Foreign Minister Antonio Garcia said the decision was part of a possible diplomatic move and reflected the government’s “concern over the indiscriminate killing of the Palestinian civilian population.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs called it a ‘genocide’ in a statement but later dropped the term.
Rafael Masri, president of the Palestinian Confederation of Latin America and the Caribbean. Who was born in Argentina, said Brazil is the most important country in the region. And if President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva can take a more critical stance towards Israel. More countries will be attracted to this emerging pro-Palestinian bloc.
He added that Lula has been giving interviews about Israel’s actions and has been criticising them. Maybe, under pressure from Chile, Colombia, and the like, they decide to join the bloc.
Brazilian-born Amir Murad said the Brazilian president had played a role. To trying to pass UN Security Council resolutions calling for an immediate ceasefire (the US vetoed one of them). But Brazil can do more than that.
“Many diplomatic measures that can be use, starting with recalling the ambassador for consultations and cutting ties.” Murad said. was the first Latin American leader to recognise his state. And many other countries did the same because of him.
“Perhaps something similar will happen this time,” he said.
But some analysts are pessimistic about the Brazilian president’s handling of the situation. Historian Tofi Kairouz, an expert on the relations between Brazil and the Arab world, said, “This is the worst for Lula.”