Colombian President Gustavo Pietro (Reuters)

It seems that I no longer need to introduce Colombian President Gustavo Pietro, after his photos were filled with Arab media since October 7, immediately after the launch of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.

He was the first to refuse to describe Hamas as a terrorist, and to this day he has not tireless of reminding the world of the crimes of the "Nazi" Israeli occupation, as he put it, which prompted the resistance movements in Gaza to explode in this way, in addition to the diplomatic escalation he took with the Israeli government.

It also seems unnecessary to introduce the President of El Salvador, Najib Boukila, given the fame of his Palestinian origins among the Arabs. But between this and that – in the situation in Gaza – there is a vast human distance, which deserves clarification.

The need to raise this issue is in fact due to the harsh international criticism received by Colombian President Pietro in his speech at the recent climate summit in Dubai, accusing him of misplacing the issue of defending Gaza in all international forums, and continuing to accuse the Israeli side of accusations that some believe are exaggerated, such as: "systematic genocide" and "Nazi methods".

On the other hand, and coinciding with the summit activities, the President of El Salvador announced his incoming absence from the presidency, full-time to run for a second presidential term in February 2024, in compliance with the new conditions in the electoral law.

It is noteworthy here that President Bukila only published a hasty tweet on the day of the launch of Operation "Al-Aqsa Flood", and did not return to comment on the subject, which witnessed developments that represented the most important events in the world.

In the tweet, which he posted in Spanish and English, he said Hamas did not represent the Palestinians and that it would be better to disappear forever. He described Hamas operatives as "savage animals" and considered that anyone who defends them ultimately sides with the criminals. His reference at the time alluded to the Colombian president's tweets. They were and still are living a war of words on platform X because of their different ideologies.

Not to anger Israel

The president was not expected to win over the agent of the people of Gaza, if we return to his previous disappointing positions on the issue. But the demonization of Hamas, by that description, was cruel and shameful even for the reputation of his father, the brilliant Palestinian engineer, who converted to Islam in El Salvador, built many mosques in the country, and was a good advocate of the Palestinian cause.

But his son, who won Barakat the Israeli-American decision – when he visited Tel Aviv at the invitation of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in 2018 and a year later, won the presidency of El Salvador – seems to be careful not to anger Israel, and is just two months away from being elected to a second term.

Curiously, President Bukila did not care, in his latest position, to the votes of the estimated 100,<> Palestinian community in a country of about seven million.

Nor did he count on them in the previous election, when he happily posted photos of his visit to Tel Aviv, practicing Jewish rituals with Israeli figures, on the Western Wall, and in the Holocaust Museum.

At the time, the Israeli press published an article that was not without healing, entitled: "His father was an imam, and his wife has Jewish origins, and he is today in front of the Western Wall."

Therefore, it is almost impossible for President Wakila to denounce – at this critical time for him – Israel's war crimes against civilians in Gaza and the rest of the Palestinian territories, especially since his candidacy for a second term is a precedent in the history of his country. El Salvador's law forbade anyone to serve two consecutive terms, but details that go on and can be summed up as a constitutional trick that enabled the president to run again.

Colombian President and his courageous stance

On the other hand, while Colombian President Pietro is battling the machinations of the opposition every day in his country, the man does not miss a local or international occasion without referring to the war on Gaza, and denouncing the criminality of the Israeli occupation, similar to his tweet last Saturday, in which he said: "They say this is not Nazism! The killing of 5300,<> Palestinian children was a Nazi practice, despite the fact that the conscience of the West does not like this fact."

Most recently he participated in the climate summit in Dubai this month, where most of the Colombian media felt that President Pietro did not appreciate the importance of the international events he attends as president of Colombia, rather than as a lawyer for the Palestinians.

Some websites accused him of having entered the stage of delirium in defending the people of Gaza, noting that the time allocated for his speech at the climate summit was limited to three minutes, which he extended to nine, to "involve" the subject of the war on Gaza, and link it to the phenomenon of inequality and the growing phenomenon of migration from south to north as a result of climate changes.

His analogy of what is happening in Gaza to the clearest example of attending Hitler's idea and implementing his Nazi policy amid the silence of the major industrial powers was the point that fueled the anger of the opposition and warned him against creating diplomatic crises with some friendly countries, such as the rejection published by the German Foreign Ministry, of his statements in which he linked the repercussions of the climate crisis, through the phenomenon of migration, and the suffering in Gaza and compared it to the Nazi period.

To be honest, the talk about the Palestinian issue in President Pietro's participation in international events was not the result of the "Al-Aqsa Flood", but rather a topic that was present even before he assumed the presidency of Colombia in August 2022.

He reminded attendees of the West's double standards of sympathy and support for the Ukrainian people and their leadership against the Russian invasion in exchange for silence about Israel's daily crimes against the defenceless Palestinian people.

But this speech, although admitted in private, is disturbing, especially in the halls of the United Nations. To this day, Colombian opposition media still celebrate the scene of the withdrawn attendance at the beginning of President Pietro's speech at the last meeting of the United Nations General Assembly last September, as "delirium", as they describe it!

When the president won El Salvador's presidency in 2019, Al-Quds News Network published a short video about his career, entitled: "Not everything that glitters is gold", to express the Palestinians' disappointment in their son, as no one expected at the time that support, sympathy and victory would come from the Colombian, Bolivian or Brazilian stranger, in that remote continent, not from relatives!

President of El Salvador in front of the Western Wall (Wailing), Palestinian roots and Zionist orientation (Israeli press)