Mexico admonishes Israel over Netanyahu wall tweet

"Mexico is a friend of Israel and should be treated as such by its Prime Minister."

January 29, 2017 01:46
2 minute read.

Israeli-Egypt border fence

Israeli-Egypt border fence

The Mexican government and the country’s Jewish community on Saturday night spoke out against Prime Minister Netanyahu’s tweet in support of a wall along the US-Mexican border.

Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray issued his first tweet since December to post his ministry’s statement on the matter.

"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," the statement said.

"Mexico is a friend of Israel and should be treated as such by its Prime Minister," the ministry said, noting Videgaray had only on Friday expressed his deep affection for Israel in an event marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

It added that it respects and admires the Jewish people and the Mexican Jewish community which has contributed to Mexico.

Mexican Undersecretary of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, Ambassador Miguel Ruíz Cabañas, issued portions of the message in English on twitter.

The Mexican Jewish community said in a formal statement that it “strongly rejected his [Netanyahu’s] position.”

Videgaray then took to twitter for a second time to issue the Jewish community's full statement and to thank it for standing with Mexico in rejecting the idea of a border wall.

Mexican academic and commentator Leo Zuckermann issued a tweet to President Reuven RIvlin in which he stated, “I ask you, as a Mexican, to correct the position of PM @netanyahu about a wall in our border.”

One Jewish Mexican, Leon Krauze, wrote on twitter, “As a Mexican jew, grandchild of immigrants: I'm ashamed of this [Netanyahu’s] tweet.”

Israel’s sudden dispute with Mexico began after Netanyahu tweeted this statement: “President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon later issued a tweet in which he tried to walk back Netanyahu’s statement.

"[Netanyahu] referred to our specific security experience which we are willing to share. We do not express a position on US-Mexico relations,” he tweeted.

Mexico's government and Trump have been locked in a bitter dispute over his election campaign promise to build a wall on the US southern border that he says Mexico will foot the bill for. Mexico has repeatedly said it will not pay for the wall.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Thursday canceled a visit to meet Trump next week after the American advised him to forgo the trip if he was not willing to pay for the wall.

In a call on Friday morning, the leaders pledged to work out their differences, and the Mexican government said the two had agreed not to discuss the issue of payment for now.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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