Ticos Called for Peace in Middle East
Local uproar over Israel’s bombing of Lebanon July 12 through Aug. 14, combined with Costa Rica’s decision to move its embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, put Israel in the news nearly two months here.
During this middle-eastern media frenzy, Israeli Ambassador Alexander Ben-Zvi finished his four-year post to Costa Rica and was replaced by Ehud Eitam.
While Ben-Zvi blamed the Israel-Hezbollah conflict on Lebanon, Albert Karam, the Lebanese consul to Costa Rica, said Israel never asked Lebanon to rescue the soldiers captured by Hezbollah, a Lebanese Islamist Shiite organization and political party. Hezbollah’s capture of two Israeli soldiers set off the month-long rocket exchange that killed hundreds and destroyed the better part of Lebanon’s infrastructure.
Protesters marched in San José at least twice, and President Arias’ government called for a ceasefire at the end of July.
Days after a U.N.-brokered truce, Arias announced Costa Rica would move its embassy, in accordance with a 26-year-old U.N. request to avoid taking sides in the dispute over whose capital is Jerusalem. The move left El Salvador as the only country with an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. (El Salvador followed Costa Rica’s lead later in August.)
Israel’s embassy here, the American Jewish Committee, the ZionistIsraeliCenter of Costa Rica and Jaime Daremblum, former Costa Rican ambassador to the United States, said the move was ill timed and looked like a reward for terrorism.
Lebanon’s consul celebrated the move, saying his country would pick up trade with Costa Rica and install a Lebanese embassy here.
You may be interested
Costa Rica unemployment rate drops to 19%The Tico Times - March 4, 2021
Unemployment in Costa Rica fell to 19.1% in the moving quarter from November to January. This maintained a downward trend…
Throwback Thursday: 2006 Arenal Volcano lava flowsThe Tico Times - March 4, 2021
Arenal Volcano's July 1968 eruption destroyed three small villages, killed 87 people and wiped out 232 square kilometers of crops…
MOPT warns of higher traffic accidents as measures are easedAlejandro Zúñiga - March 4, 2021
The Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) is reminding drivers to follow the rules of the road when traveling this…