The government of Israel wants an apology from Ecuador for remarks made by United Nations Ambassador Horacio Sevilla Borja comparing Zionism with Nazism.
Sevilla made the comments last week at a celebration of International Solidarity Day with the Palestinian People at the UN General Assembly. According to his office, Sevilla was quoting the late Fidel Castro.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry last week called Ecuador assistant ambassador to Israel Enrique Ponce to an urgent meeting to lodge a complaint regarding Sevilla’s remarks. “Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu find Mr. Seville’s statement deeply disturbing,” the ministry said. “What he said was full of of inaccuracies and historical distortions.”
During the Palestinian Solidarity Day celebration, Sevilla was quoted as saying: “We repudiate with all our strength the persecution and genocide that, in its time was unleashed by the Nazis against the Hebrew people. We cannot remember, however, anything more similar to this persecution and genocide in our own time, than the eviction, persecution, genocide and imperialism inflicted on the Palestinian people in the name of Zionism.”
The same comments were delivered by then-Cuban President Fidel Castro at the UN in 1979.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a watchdog organization for Jewish rights, sent a note to Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa urging him to apologize publicly for the libel against the Jewish people and calling for Sevilla’s expulsion from diplomatic service.
“The Ecuadorian representative either carries a prejudice against Jewish self-determination and sovereignty – the definition of Zionism – or suffers from an inadequate education in history,” the note said.
The government of Ecuador has not yet responded to the request for an apology.