RUBIO, COLLEAGUES CALL FOR LATIN AMERICAN PRESIDENTS TO RESTORE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), along with Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and James Risch (R-ID), today called on the Presidents of Brazil, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and El Salvador to return their Ambassadors to Israel and restore diplomatic relations with the country. The Latin American presidents recently recalled their Ambassadors to Israel “in protest” against Israel’s legitimate military operations.

marco rubioIn letters to the Latin American presidents, the senators highlighted the adverse impact that downgraded diplomatic relations will have on the ongoing conflict, and encouraged the presidents to return their Ambassadors to Israel as a symbol of their country’s commitment to peace in the Middle East.

“All loss of innocent lives during this conflict is tragic, but your government’s decision to downgrade diplomatic relations with Israel at this critical time will only embolden Hamas leaders to continue on the current course of indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli civilians rather than working with the Israeli government to achieve a sustainable cease fire arrangement,” the senators wrote. “Your actions send a troubling message to the United States about your government’s commitment to long-lasting peace between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
“We encourage you to return your Ambassador to Israel, as a symbol of your country’s steadfast commitment to achieving an enduring peace in the Middle East and the fight against the scourge of international terrorism,” the senators added.

The text of the letters is below:

Dear Mr./Madam President:

We are deeply disappointed by your government’s decision to recall your Ambassador to Israel “in protest” against Israel’s legitimate military operations to restore deterrence against rocket attacks and terrorist tunnels designed by Hamas to kill Israeli civilians.

Hamas is a terrorist organization committed to using violence as a political tool and denying Israel’s right to exist. Hamas leaders have violated international law by promoting the use of civilians as human shields, and have rejected multiple cease fire offers that could save lives on both sides of this conflict. All loss of innocent lives during this conflict is tragic, but your government’s decision to downgrade diplomatic relations with Israel at this critical time will only embolden Hamas leaders to continue on the current course of indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli civilians rather than working with the Israeli government to achieve a sustainable cease fire arrangement. Your actions send a troubling message to the United States about your government’s commitment to long-lasting peace between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

We encourage you to return your Ambassador to Israel, as a symbol of your country’s steadfast commitment to achieving an enduring peace in the Middle East and the fight against the scourge of international terrorism.

Sincerely,

Marco Rubio

Robert Menendez

Mark Kirk

James Risch