Israel needs to get ready for Russia-style sanctions – opinion


In 2017, Benjamin Netanyahu visited Bogota. It was part of a larger prime ministerial sweep through Latin America that included stops in Brazil as well as Argentina.

At the Colombian presidential palace, Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, were met by an impressive honor guard. Colombian soldiers – decked out in dress uniform, ribbons and white gloves – stood at attention as the Israeli leader marched toward his host, Juan Manuel Santos, who a year earlier had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

“Israel has been a friend and ally of Colombia, and lately it has been a great ally in the construction of peace in our country,” Santos said later that day during his meeting with Netanyahu.

It was a warm friendship. Four years earlier, Santos visited Jerusalem and met with Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. During that visit, Santos – who Peres called a “true and dear friend” – signed a free-trade agreement with Israel’s economy minister at the time, a young politician who had just been elected to the Knesset, Naftali Bennett.

That was then. Today, it is doubtful that anyone in Israel would call Santos a true and dear friend. He published an op-ed on Sunday in Spain’s El Pais newspaper calling on the world to apply its aggressive response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to Israel.


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