(JTA) — Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro described Israel’s offensive in Gaza as a “new, repugnant form of fascism.”
Castro made his comments in a column published Tuesday in Granma, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, and titled “Palestinian Holocaust in Gaza. ”
“Why does the government of this country (Israel) think that the world will be impervious to this macabre genocide that is being committed today against the Palestinian people?” Castro wrote.
Castro, 87, ruled Cuba from 1959 until 2006, when he handed over power to his brother Raul. Cuba broke diplomatic relations with Israel in 1973 after the Yom Kippur War.
In a more conciliatory moment, in 2010, Castro told Atlantic writer Jeffrey Goldberg that Israel “without a doubt” has a right to exist.
In that interview Castro, according to Goldberg, expressed “great sympathy for persecuted Jews throughout history” and expressed admiration for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s father, Ben-Zion, who Goldberg described as “the world’s foremost historian of the Spanish Inquisition and a hard-line Likudnik.”