Israel Expels Venezuelan Diplomats

An expulsion order has been issued by Israel on all Venezuelan diplomats in Jerusalem, in response to the President Hugo Chavez's ouster of the Israeli ambassador from Venezuela on January 6th.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the action took several weeks because of disagreements within the Israeli government about how to respond to Venezuela’s highly critical stance and vocal concern over the seige of Gaza that killed over 1,400 Palestinians. Veteran Israeli diplomats were concerned about the impact that the stress in foreign relations might have on the 13,000-plus Jewish community living in Caracas and throughout Venezuela.

The Venezuelan government holds strong to its decision to exile the Israeli ambassador and break off all ties with the Jewish state in protest over its offensive in Gaza that reportedly killed more than 1,400 Palestinians.

“The response of the State of Israel is weak, late, and in any case for us it’s an honor,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro told Al-Jazeera. “We’re proud that the State of Israel that exists today, led by these criminals, made this decision.”

Bolivia also officially broke all ties with Israel at the same time as Venezuela.