Palestinian mission in Colombia tweets Arafat quote calling for Israel’s destruction


RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The Palestinian mission to Colombia tweeted a quote from late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat calling for the destruction of the State of Israel.

In a Spanish-language post Thursday, the mission wrote, “Our goal is the end of Israel, and there can be no compromises or mediations…. We don’t want peace. We want WAR and victory — Yasser Arafat,” according to a spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The tweet was quickly removed from the Palestinian mission’s account, which has only 581 followers. No explanation or apology was offered.

Marcos Sermoneta, Israel’s ambassador to Colombia, told the Spanish newspaper Diario de las Americas in an interview published Friday that the tweet reflects the Palestinian’s true position against Israel.

“For the first time, they spoke the truth, not in Arabic, but in Spanish,” he said. “Such action must be taken seriously … why do they do not accept the Jews right to self-determination in their own state?”

The Confederation of Jewish Communities of Colombia, the country’s umbrella Jewish organization, expressed concern over the “religious hatred” it said was expressed by the tweet.

“We consider it extremely serious that a diplomatic mission officially accredited to the Republic of Colombia is an apologist for the destruction of a country, in this case Israel, which constitutes a violation of the protocols governing diplomacy and the minimum decency to be displayed by a diplomatic delegation, the confederation said in a statement.

Arafat’s quote appeared in the Washington Post newspaper in March 1970, long before he became Israel’s negotiating partner for peace or the head of the Palestinian Authority.

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