Several prominent U.S. Jewish groups have condemned Paraguay’s decision — announced on Wednesday — to return its embassy in Israel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.
In May, Paraguay had followed the U.S. and Guatemala in establishing embassies in Israel’s contested capital city.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder called Paraguay’s reversal of that move “deeply regrettable and disappointing.”
“Paraguay’s decision to relocate its embassy back to Tel Aviv less than four months after underscoring its recognition of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel is deeply regrettable and disappointing,” Lauder said. “Paraguay has always been a steadfast supporter of the State of Israel, and it is extremely concerning to witness the unnecessary strain in ties between two historically strong friends.”
“We profoundly hope that the two countries will be able to mend the rift that this decision has created and resume their crucial diplomatic relationship within the international arena,” he continued.
Dina Siegel Vann — the American Jewish Committee’s director of Latino and Latin American affairs — stated, “This diplomatic reversal is shocking. Paraguay has long been a leader among Latin American nations in advancing cooperative relations with Israel. Opening the Paraguayan Embassy in Jerusalem was indicative of that support.”
“To suddenly reverse the historic decision less than four months later raises a number of questions, including who exerted pressure on Paraguay to do so,” she added. “It cannot be a coincidence that as Paraguay announces this decision, the Palestinian Authority celebrates and declares it will open an ‘embassy’ in Asunción.”