MEXICO CITY – Israel’s ambassador to Mexico said on Monday that the two countries are working to resume their “strong” relationship after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted praise for Donald Trump’s planned wall on the US-Mexican border.
Mexico and Israel “are two countries with a long history of friendship and a deep political, economic and cultural relationship, and our task now is to return to normality,” Jonathan Peled told reporters after a meeting with Mexican senior officials.
The friendship between Israel and Mexico is strong enough to “overcome any statement or issue,” he said.
The envoy was summoned to the Foreign Relations Secretariat amid an outcry in Mexico over Netanyahu’s comments.
“President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea,” Netanyahu said Saturday in a tweet.
The comment came just days after Trump signed an executive order to begin planning for a wall on the border with Mexico and the Mexican government quickly filed a formal diplomatic complaint manifesting “its profound astonishment, rejection, and disappointment” over the tweet.
Netanyahu has also been criticized in Israel, not only by the political opposition, but by his own interior minister, Aryeh Deri, who urged the prime minister to “reconsider” his words.
On Sunday, Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray asked the Israeli government for an apology and a retraction.
Netanyahu, however, insisted that his tweet didn’t refer to Mexico and he accused the Mexican media of creating a controversy and generating “an avalanche of fake news.”