Israel summons Ecuadorean diplomat over UN envoy’s remarks equating Zionism with Nazism

Marcus Moraes

(JTA) – Israel’s Foreign Ministry summoned an Ecuadorean diplomat in Tel Aviv to protest a speech delivered by his country’s envoy to the United Nations that equated Zionism with Nazism.

Modi Efraim, the Foreign Ministry’s deputy director-general for Latin America, on Sunday summoned the Ecuadorean embassy’s third secretary, Enrique Ponce, to complain that the Nov. 29 speech was filled with historical falsehoods and inaccuracies, “especially the comparison made between the treatment of the Palestinians to the horrors of the Nazi regime.”

Israel asked for “clarifications” from Ecuadorean officials; Ponce promised to report the matter to his office immediately.

Ecuador has not had an ambassador in Israel since it recalled its envoy from Israel during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014.

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Horacio Sevilla Borja made the remark, a quote from a speech by the late Cuban President Fidel Castro, during a session marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People at the General Assembly.

Meanwhile, Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon, wrote a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling on him to condemn Borja’s statement and demanded that he apologize, the mission said in a statement Monday.

“The U.N. cannot treat such despicable words of hate and pure anti-Semitism as business as usual,” Danon wrote. “It should be made crystal clear to all member-states that such antisemitic behavior will not be tolerated at the U.N.”

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