Argentina: Israel tourism board to boycott Belize
Belize tourism director Michael J. DeLaCruz has called on the Israeli government to sever diplomatic relations with Belize over its handling of the murder of an Israeli tourist in the country.
The Israel Embassy said on Monday that it will close its embassy in Belize, which Israel has a diplomatic mission in.
The Israeli Embassy in Belo Horizonte did not respond to requests for comment.
The embassy said the decision is a matter for the Belize government.
In a statement to Mashable, the embassy said Belize “has taken a step that it does not condone, but we will continue to work with Belo to find a way forward for Belize to continue to have a friendly relationship with Israel.”
DeLaCostes, who was not authorized to comment, said he would work with the Belo government “to provide a transparent and comprehensive explanation for our actions.”
He also said Belo will make it clear that Belize will not tolerate any form of incitement.
“We will not allow any form or expression of hatred towards Israel or its citizens, or any form that is inconsistent with the spirit of Belize,” DeLaCaes statement said.
Belo, the last stop on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, has been hit hard by a wave of violence over the past year.
At least 11 Israelis and at least one U.S. citizen were killed in the violence in Belmopan, an upscale coastal city that was once one of Belo’s most affluent areas.
Israel’s ambassador to Belo said the Israeli Embassy has requested that Belo take the steps needed to protect Belo against the threat of terrorism.
“Belo’s position is clear: Israel does not tolerate anti-Semitism and anti-Israel incitement,” said Yigal Baruch, Israel’s consul general in Beloan.
“The Belo administration is working to ensure Belo remains a safe and secure place for Belo citizens, and we remain committed to supporting the Belopols efforts to prevent anti-Jewish incitement and hate speech.”
Belo also plans to create a new government agency to fight anti-Semitic incidents, including those targeting Israelis and other foreigners.
“Our government is working on this as a proactive measure to ensure the safety of Belmopans residents,” De LaCruz said in the statement.