Colombia’s President Moves Embassy from Israel to Ramallah


The administration of Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro — which recently severed all diplomatic ties with Israel — will open an embassy in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Foreign Minister Luis Murillo announced on Wednesday.

“President Petro has given the order that we open the Colombian embassy in Ramallah, the representation of Colombia in Ramallah, that is the next step we are going to take,” Murillo told reporters in Bogotá:

The Colombian foreign minister asserted that Petro “led” efforts for the United Nations’ recognition of Palestine as a state “with full rights” during the VIII summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a regional bloc, hosted by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in March.

Murillo said:

President Petro also led a meeting of Latin American presidents in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines attended by the presidents of Brazil, delegations from Chile, the Foreign Minister of Mexico, but also presidents of several nations and there it was agreed to take action to ensure that Palestine is recognized as a state with full rights in the United Nations.

“We believe and are confident that more and more countries are going to recognize Palestine,” he continued.

Murillo claimed that the decision to open an embassy in Ramallah “is nothing against Israel, the people of Israel, or the Jews” but, rather, a decision stemming from the United Nations’ 1990s Oslo Accords that called for the creation of a two-state solution.

Petro has repeatedly accused Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of committing a “genocide” in its self-defense operations against Hamas. Petro, in a series of antisemitic remarks on social media, also accused the Israeli government of turning Gaza into a concentration camp similar to Auschwitz.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem on March 19, 2023 (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP, File).

“If I had lived in Germany in 1933 I would have fought on the side of the Jews and if I had lived in Palestine in 1948 I would have fought on the Palestinian side,” Petro wrote. “Now the neo-Nazis want the destruction of the Palestinian people, freedom, and culture. Now the democrats and progressives want peace and freedom for the Israeli and Palestinian people.”

Following repeated threats to do so after October 2023, Petro ultimately cut all ties with Israel at the start of May. The Colombian president also claimed “responsibility” for the passage of a non-binding resolution by the United Nations General Assembly in May that asked the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) to reconsider granting full membership status to “Palestine.”

The M19 guerrilla movement, which Petro has proudly boasted of being a member of during his youth, committed several prominent attacks in Colombia during its roughly two decades of activity, including the 1985 siege of the Palace of Justice in Bogotá, one of the worst attacks in Colombian history.

President of Colombia Gustavo Petro speaks to crowd during the International Workers Day in Bogota, Colombia on May 1, 2024 (Juancho Torres/Anadolu via Getty Images).

On that day, roughly 35 M19 members attacked the seat of Colombia’s judiciary, holding hundreds of civilians hostage. Nearly a hundred civilians were killed during the siege, including 11 Colombian Supreme Court justices.

Petro has publicly claimed that some of M19’s members trained and fought with the Palestine Liberation Organization and other groups in the past.

Echoing his president’s “genocide” accusations against Israel, Foreign Minister Murillo concluded his remarks this week by condemning Israel’s self-defense actions, which, according to Murillo, are “generating” a “situation of genocide.”

Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Christian K. Caruzo
Christian K. Caruzo
Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism.

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