Embassies in Jerusalem: Why Guatemala?

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Embassies in Jerusalem: Why Guatemala?

On Sun­day, Guatemala’s Pres­i­dent announced plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

Guatemala fol­lows US in plan­ning Israel embassy move

Guatemala, along with 12 other coun­tries, had their embassies in Jerusalem until 1980, when they moved them to Tel Aviv after Israel annexed East Jerusalem, in a move not recog­nised inter­na­tion­ally. All other coun­tries still have their embassies in Tel Aviv.

Guatemala and Israel have a long his­tory of polit­i­cal, eco­nomic and mil­i­tary ties.

Guatemala is the first coun­try after the U.S. to announce this decision.

The facile answer to “Why Guatemala?” is, of course,

The Cen­tral Amer­i­can coun­try is also a major recip­i­ent of US aid – some­thing which Don­ald Trump threat­ened to cut to states that voted in favour of the UN resolution.

But Raphael Ahren looked into his­tor­i­cal reasons:

Guatemala played a key role in the Jew­ish state’s cre­ation and has enjoyed Israeli secu­rity assis­tance ever since. It doesn’t hurt that its leader is deeply reli­gious.

There are sev­eral rea­sons for Guatemala’s dra­matic step. The country’s well-​established his­toric friend­ship with Israel and ongo­ing deep secu­rity and trade ties are one key part of the story. The per­sonal char­ac­ter of the country’s cur­rent leader is the other.

Specif­i­cally,

Sev­enty years ago, Guatemala’s ambas­sador to the UN, Dr. Jorge Gar­cia Grana­dos, a mem­ber of the United Nations Spe­cial Com­mit­tee on Pales­tine, played a cru­cial role in con­vinc­ing Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries to vote in favor of Gen­eral Assem­bly Res­o­lu­tion 181, which called for the par­ti­tion of Manda­tory Pales­tine into a Jew­ish state and an Arab state.

Guatemala was one of the first coun­tries to rec­og­nize the nascent State of Israel in 1948, and the friend­ship has remained strong ever since.

Ahren lists intel­li­gence teams, secu­rity and com­mu­ni­ca­tions spe­cial­ists and mil­i­tary train­ing, along with civil­ian tech­nol­ogy — includ­ing agri­cul­ture — and tourism among the ties between the two countries.

The BBC reports that Israel is in talks with more than 10 coun­tries — includ­ing some in Europe — about poten­tially mov­ing their respec­tive embassies to Jerusalem, accord­ing to offi­cials.

Guatemala’s announce­ment beat them to it.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin Amer­ica at Fausta’s blog

On Sunday, Guatemala’s President announced plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

Guatemala follows US in planning Israel embassy move

Guatemala, along with 12 other countries, had their embassies in Jerusalem until 1980, when they moved them to Tel Aviv after Israel annexed East Jerusalem, in a move not recognised internationally. All other countries still have their embassies in Tel Aviv.

Guatemala and Israel have a long history of political, economic and military ties.

Guatemala is the first country after the U.S. to announce this decision.

The facile answer to “Why Guatemala?” is, of course,

The Central American country is also a major recipient of US aid – something which Donald Trump threatened to cut to states that voted in favour of the UN resolution.

But Raphael Ahren looked into historical reasons:

Guatemala played a key role in the Jewish state’s creation and has enjoyed Israeli security assistance ever since. It doesn’t hurt that its leader is deeply religious.
. . .
There are several reasons for Guatemala’s dramatic step. The country’s well-established historic friendship with Israel and ongoing deep security and trade ties are one key part of the story. The personal character of the country’s current leader is the other.

Specifically,

Seventy years ago, Guatemala’s ambassador to the UN, Dr. Jorge Garcia Granados, a member of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, played a crucial role in convincing Latin American countries to vote in favor of General Assembly Resolution 181, which called for the partition of Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state.
. . .
Guatemala was one of the first countries to recognize the nascent State of Israel in 1948, and the friendship has remained strong ever since.

Ahren lists intelligence teams, security and communications specialists and military training, along with civilian technology – including agriculture – and tourism among the ties between the two countries.

The BBC reports that Israel is in talks with more than 10 countries — including some in Europe — about potentially moving their respective embassies to Jerusalem, according to officials.

Guatemala’s announcement beat them to it.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog