U.S. Jewish groups criticized Costa Rica for recognizing “Palestine” as a state. “Israel and the international community are committed to pursuing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state that would be the result of mutual negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” the Anti Defamation League wrote in a letter to Bruno Stagno Ugarte, the Costa Rican foreign minister. “As part of such a negotiated settlement, it is expected that the Palestinian Authority would meet the requirements established by the international community to ensure the safety and security of Israeli citizens.” The American Jewish Committee said, “Given the fact that Costa Rica has been a shining light of democracy in Latin America, this action against another stalwart democracy, Israel, is particularly shocking.” Costa Rica was long a pro-Israel stalwart in Latin America and until 2006 was one of only two nations to maintain an embassy in Jerusalem. Few states outside the Arab and Muslim world recognize Palestine as a state. The Palestinian Authority is pressing nations to do so as part of a blitz ahead of its push for statehood by next year.