Gustavo Petro
Gustavo PetroReuters

Colombian President Gustavo Petro on Tuesday expressed support for comments made by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who compared Israel’s actions in Gaza to those of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler against Jews during World War II.

In a post on X, Petro wrote that he stands in solidarity with da Silva and added, “In Gaza there is a genocide and thousands of children, women and elderly civilians are cowardly murdered. Lula has only spoken the truth.”

He added, “The entire region must unite to immediately end the violence in Palestine” and said that the ruling of the International Court of Justice in South Africa’s case against Israel must result in “consequences” vis-à-vis its diplomatic relations with countries in the world.

The Brazilian President caused an uproar earlier this week when he made the controversial comparison.

"What is happening in the Gaza Strip is not war. This is genocide. It is not a war of soldiers against soldiers. It is a war between a trained military against women and children. What is happening in the Gaza Strip against the Palestinian people has not happened at almost any other time in history. In fact, it only happened once; when Hitler decided to kill the Jews," the Brazilian President charged.

On Monday, Foreign Minister Israel Katz called the Brazilian Ambassador, Federico Mayer, for a reprimand in the wake of da Silva’s comments. The reprimand took place at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem.

"We will not forgive and we will not forget: In my name and in the name of all citizens of Israel, tell President Lula that he is a persona non grata in Israel until he apologizes and retracts his statements," Katz told the ambassador.

Later,da Silva announced that the Brazilian ambassador to Israel would be recalled and that Brazil has decided to summon Israel's ambassador to the country for a reprimand.

Petro previously made similar comments, having said in December that Israel’s operation in Gaza against Hamas was like “Nazism in Germany.”

Then-Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said in response, “Colombian President Gustavo Petro's baseless and antisemitic attacks against the State of Israel mainly reflect a lack of knowledge and moral blindness. It is almost two months after the 7 October massacre, and we still have yet to hear the President of Colombia unequivocally condemn the massacre committed by the Hamas monsters during which more than 1200 Israelis were murdered, entire families were executed in cold blood, children and babies were burned alive, Israeli citizens were beheaded, women were raped and murdered, and 240 Israelis and foreigners were kidnapped to Gaza."

In November, Petro announced that Colombia had recalled its ambassador to Israel over its war in Gaza.

"I have decided to recall our ambassador to Israel. If Israel does not stop the massacre of the Palestinian people we cannot stay there," he wrote at the time.