The Jerusalem Post annual conference: 7 Israeli ministers will meet you there!
A late-blooming romance between Castro and Israel?
September 26, 2010 01:52
Netanyahu and Peres praise former Cuban dictator’s recent comments slamming Ahmadinejad and defending Israel.
Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro AP 311. (photo credit:Associated Press)

Former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s surprising words of support for Israel’s right to exist and empathy with the tragedies of Jewish history elicited warm words from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and a letter of thanks from President Shimon Peres over the weekend.

Castro, in a recent interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, said Israel “without a doubt” has the right to exist, and criticized Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his Holocaust denial, saying Iran should understand the consequences of theological anti-Semitism.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Castro discusses 'nuclear winter' with US academic

“I don’t think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews,” Castro said. “I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything.”

On Wednesday, Goldberg wrote on his blog that Castro said he understands how such Jewish suffering could inform the decision-making of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

“Now, let’s imagine that I were Netanyahu,” Castro said, “that I were there and I sat down to reason through [the issues facing Israel], I would remember that six million Jewish men and women, of all ages were exterminated in the concentration camps.”

According to Goldberg, Castro also expressed great admiration for Netanyahu’s father, Ben-Zion, the world's foremost historian of the Spanish Inquisition, and said he was impressed “by his character, his knowledge and his history.”

Netanyahu’s office sent out a statement Saturday saying Castro’s words “demonstrate his deep understanding of the history of the Jewish people and Israel.”

The Prime Minister’s Office also sent out links to Goldberg’s blog related to the Castro interview. A source in the Prime Minister’s Office explained that Castro’s words were being highlighted because the former Cuban president is an icon to the world’s radical-left which is trying to de-legitimize Israel and say it has no right to exist. Castro’s comments about Israel’s fundamental legitimacy are therefore not without significance, he said.

Peres, meanwhile sent a letter to Castro via Israel’s ambassador to the UN to his Cuban counterpart, saying that Castro’s “unexpected” words “moved” him. “Your words are like a surprising bridge between a harsh reality and a new horizon,” Peres wrote in Spanish. “And for that I thank you with all my heart. You showed that even those distant can be close."
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

  • Holocaust
  • Iran
  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
  • Shimon Peres
  • cuba
  • Prev Article
    The ‘Zionist regime’ enters the UN’s Iranian underworld
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the UN headquarters
    PA President Mahmoud Abbas addresses UNGA
    Abbas: 'We tried intifada, it caused us great damage'
    Next Article
    Share this article via
    from around the web
    Related Content
    THE OPENING of the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
    February 27, 2017
    WATCH LIVE: UN Human Rights Council opens 34th session in Geneva


    Top Stories
    Israel Weather
    • 14 - 28
      Beer Sheva
      14 - 27
      Tel Aviv - Yafo
    • 12 - 21
      15 - 22
    • 15 - 28
      16 - 26