Photo Credit: Ministerio de Relaciones exteriores de El Salvador
Ambassador Werner Matías Romero receiving his accreditation from President Rivlin

A severe diplomatic crisis is brewing between Israel and El Salvador, as the latter is not happy with the former’s decision to close down its embassy in San Salvador as part of a decision to eliminate five embassies altogether as a belt-tightening measure, Ynet reported. El Salvador is considering a retaliatory step — moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Ramallah, inside the Palestinian Authority. This may be the most creative—and effective—diplomatic maneuver against the Jewish State this year. It also marks yet another Latin American country with whom the Netanyahu government is feuding (Brazil is another).

The Salvadoran foreign ministry sent Israel a stern message saying the Central American republic was shocked, dismayed and surprised by the proposed step. They were particularly hurt by the fact that they found out about it in the press, rather than receive a proper advance notice through diplomatic channels. There’s more: El Salvador had apparently been so interested in improving relations with Israel, it sent a senior official, the foreign office’s former director Werner Matias Romero, to serve as its new ambassador to Israel to enhance the friendship and cooperation.

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The insulted Romero said he was still hoping Israel would reverse the decision, warning that otherwise it would “open a Pandora’s box,” adding, “What Israel has done is bite the friendly hand we extended to her. That’s not a way to treat your friends. This could definitely bolster the element in El Salvador who are opposed to our ties with Israel.”

Romero also reminded his hosts of the fact that El Salvador voted in favor of the 1947 UN Partition Plan; José Castellanos, a Salvadoran diplomat, saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust—and was recognized by Yad Vashem, and El Salvador even kept its embassy in Jerusalem for a couple of decades—until the second Lebanon war.

According to Ynet, it costs Israel about a million dollars a year to keep each embassy open. This may turn out to be an acceptable cost of doing business, when the alternative is seeing the Salvadoran embassy be consolidated with the Cairo mission, or, even worse, reopening in Ramallah, forcing Israeli visa seekers to armor their cars first before applying.

Israel is also planning to close its embassy in Minsk, to be followed by the closing down of the Belarus mission to Tel Aviv. Now, that’s something that would not have happened while Minister Avigdor Lieberman was in charge.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Bad and confusing writing.
    "El Salvador May Move Israeli Embassy to Ramallah"
    A better title would have been:
    "El Salvador May Move their Embassy to Ramallah".
    El Salvador do not Move any ISRAELI Embassy, they don't have control of any ISRAELI Embassy. They talk about their embassy, the Salvadorian embassy in Israel (I guess in Tel Aviv but kudos for being in Jerusalem for 20 years) which they want to perhaps move to Ramallah.

    Now this threat is rather funny:
    If they move their embassy to Ramallah it will still be an embassy to Israel NOT an embassy to "Palestine".
    So:
    a) It will implied (and correctly so) that Ramallah is Israeli/Jewish land. Arabs won't be happy about that. Worse case scenario: They will insist that this embassy become an embassy to Palestine. If El Salvador refuse it will be burned down.
    b) It will serve Israeli citizens not Arabs so Arabs couldn't care less (best case scenario) about it and therefore assuming they don't burn it down, they have no incentive to guard it, protect it. It will be an embassy to "the Corrupt Colonialist Imperialistic Zionist Entity Occupiers of the Glorious and Courageous Palestinian People (or CCIZEOGCPP).
    c) The staff should better sleep in their embassy. I'm just saying.

    It will immediately trigger a break of diplomatic relation. Israel is furious when some countries (Brazil, Venezuela) wants to recognize a Palestinian State, this is going beyond recognition. And a slap in the face.
    So it is a bad idea, an idle threat from El Salvador.

    All this being said, it is indeed a bad move from Israel. If the above is true (embassy in Jerusalem, friendly desire for better relations etc) keep the embassy open. Save money by withholding funds to any Israeli university to have sickos professors who are openly anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, more pro Arabs than many Arabs. They are plenty of these crazy "professors". Save money by killing terrorist on the spot even if they are already handcuffed instead of putting them on trial; feeding them for several years and then releasing them as a gesture of good will.
    They are ways to save money without turning a friendly nation into an enemy.

    Embassy to Minsk; yeah I understand. I don't care about any embassy in Poland or Russia or Ukraine. We should not even have diplomatic relations with them, if you knew how they behaved during WW2.

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