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Nov 14, 2023

Belize Takes Measures Against Israel, Opposition Leader Responds

The Government of Belize has, on several occasions, rebuked the actions of the Israeli Defense Force in Gaza, following the deadly October seventh attack that claimed the lives of approximately fourteen hundred Israeli men, women, and children.  Tonight, the Briceño administration is ramping up its position by taking diplomatic measures against Israel, as a result of the relentless and blanket bombing in Gaza that has killed over eleven thousand Palestinian civilians.  When Cabinet met recently, a decision was taken for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to rescind an agreement by Belize to receive Einat Kranz-Neiger, Israel’s Ambassador Designate.  Likewise, all activities conducted by the Israeli Honorary Consulate in Belize have been put off.  In Tel Aviv, the Government of Belize has suspended all activities of Belize’s Honorary Consulate and withdrawing the appointment of its Honorary Consul.  And finally, as part of those measures, Belize is also pulling back its request for the accreditation of Jonathan Enav as Belize’s Honorary Consul.  Strict measures on the diplomatic front, but what does the Leader of the Opposition, who identifies as Jewish, think of the Israeli/Hamas conflict and the mounting death toll?  We sat down with Shyne Barrow this afternoon who shared his point of view with the media.


Shyne Barrow

Shyne Barrow, Leader of the Opposition

“There are Jews protesting in England and in New York right now against what is happening.  So being Jewish has nothing to do with my position.  I take umbrage to that.  I would not accuse… there are many Palestinians and people of Arab descent in the government: Assad Shoman, former Prime Minister Said Musa, Michel Chebat, the Espats.  All the Espats are of Palestinian descent as far as I know, or Arab descent.  I don’t look at life from that lens and my position, when it comes to Israel is not religious or personal.  It’s strictly a foreign policy position that I’ve arrived at having the information at my disposal, but it has nothing to do with me being Jewish. When the terrorist organization Hamas invaded Israel in that despicable assault that saw fourteen hundred civilians: children, women and men, slaughtered, as well as two hundred hostages still being held, the party deliberated the matter and issued a release after robust debates on both sides of the spectrum.  We issued a release that we all agreed rose to the occasion.”


Isani Cayetano

“Where do you stand at present, as the Leader of the Opposition, and, of course, as Jewish man, in respect of the sanctions that have been taken against Israel by the Government of Belize?”


Shyne Barrow

“But I plead with you that me being Jewish has nothing to do with my position.  Just like me being Dean Barrow’s son has nothing to do with his position.  He has a totally different position than I do and we’re still very friendly and we talk every week and, you know, we just agree to disagree on that matter.  So please do not belittle my integrity and my character by presuming that because of my religious practices my position is driven by that.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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