Israel’s Ambassador to Mexico, Jonathan Peled, was summoned on Sunday for a reprimand following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s comment in which he appeared to support President Donald Trump’s plan to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Channel 10 News reported that it was Mexico’s Foreign Minister himself who summoned Peled, a sign of Mexico’s outrage over the incident. Peled and the minister, Luis Videgaray Caso, are expected to meet on Monday.
On Saturday, Netanyahu tweeted, “President Donald J. Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel's southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea.”
The comment may have been a direct response to comments made by Trump himself in an interview on Fox News on Thursday, in which he cited Israel’s use of border fences and other barriers to block terrorists and reduce illegal immigration from the Sinai desert as proof that the border wall with Mexico could work.
"The wall is necessary," Trump said. "That’s not just politics, and yet it is good for the heart of the nation because people want protection and a wall protects. All you’ve got to do is ask Israel."
Mexico’s government issued a sharp rebuke of Netanyahu’s comment on Saturday night.
"The Foreign Ministry expressed to the government of Israel, via its ambassador in Mexico, its profound astonishment, rejection and disappointment over Prime Minister Netanyahu's message on Twitter about the construction of a border wall,” it said.
"Mexico is a friend of Israel and should be treated as such by its Prime Minister," the Ministry added.
Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon posted a clarification on Twitter with regard to Netanyahu’s comment.
“IsraeliPM referred to our specific security experience which we are willing to share. We do not express a position on US-Mexico relations,” stressed Nahshon in his tweet.