Why Latin American diplomats are pulling out of Israel

GlobalPost reports: Latin American nations are expressing their revulsion at the bloodshed in Gaza — and squarely pinning the blame on Israel.

Chile, Peru and El Salvador said this week they are recalling their ambassadors from Israel for consultation. That was after Ecuador and Brazil did the same last week.

And on Wednesday, Bolivian President Evo Morales declared Israel a “terrorist state.”

Lots of world leaders have denounced the violence on both sides of Israel’s 3-week-old war against Hamas in Gaza. Palestinian casualties have reached 1,328, according to Gaza health authorities, while the Israeli death toll is close to 60.

But the Latin Americans appear to be leading a diplomatic storm, flying envoys out of Tel Aviv.

Recalling an ambassador for consultation falls short of breaking off relations outright, but it can lead to that.

So, why are they doing it?

In a statement on Tuesday, Chile condemned Hamas for launching rockets at Israeli towns, but slammed the Israel Defense Forces’ bombardment of Palestinian civilians.

“The Israeli military operations in Gaza … do not respect the fundamental norms of international humanitarian law, as is demonstrated by the more than 1,000 civilian victims, including women and children, as well as the attack on schools and hospitals,” the Chilean statement said.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff described the Israeli offensive as a “massacre” and accused the government in Tel Aviv of responding “disproportionately” to Hamas violence. [Continue reading…]

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