The world’s biggest powers have remained silent in face of the atrocities being committed in Gaza and, pressed between US and Israeli lobbies, the EU has shamefully disregarded the alerts of NGOs, the United Nations and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). But across the Atlantic, Latin American leaders have been a dissonant voice calling for a ceasefire and an urgent end to the genocide.

Under Lula’s impulse, the  Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit, on 2 March, a large majority of countries supported the UN resolution for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the liberation of hostages. The CELAC countries also demanded  guarantees on access to humanitarian aid and support for (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) UNRWA.

Lula has been one of the most critical voices on the issue, with his government announcing its support for South Africa’s case at the ICJ . 

Colombia’s President, Gustavo Petro has also not minced his words and has not shied away from using the G word. “It’s called Genocide, they do it to remove the Palestinian people from Gaza and take it over,” he wrote in November. A call repeated last week, after Israel assassinated 100 Palestinians looking for food. Colombia has stopped all purchases of weapons from Israel.

Bolivia and Belize have cut official ties with Israel since November. Venezuela had already done so in 2009. Chilean President Gabriel Boric accused Israel of “unacceptable violations of International Humanitarian Law” and recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv for consultations, a move followed by Honduras and Nicaragua.

On March 5, Cuba reiterated in the United Nations “the urgent need to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” while denouncing “collective punishment, serious violations of the International Humanitarian Law and war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli government.”

In the words of Petro, the EU and US have been to keen to give [them] “democracy lessons, while being complicit in a genocide”. Latin American governments have been standing as a beacon of inspiration in terms of solidarity with Palestine, while the “the EU has been instrumentalizing international law and human rights according to its geopolitical interests.” commented Spanish MEP Miguel Urbán Crespo. “The Global South in general, and Latin America in particular, are teaching the West a lesson in integrity. European complicity in genocide must stop now”.

Europe has the opportunity to amplify the voices of the marginalised and stand in unwavering solidarity with the people of Palestine, by forging deeper connections with movements advocating for Palestinian rights around the world, and embracing the lessons coming from Latin America, and fostering a more just and equitable world for all.

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