The South American country hasn’t had diplomatic ties with Israel since 2009, and announced Wednesday that Israeli citizens would need to obtain permission before crossing its borders.

Anyone who has done any backpacking knows that young Israelis are avid travelers. It’s traditional to take an extended tour of the globe when done with mandatory military service.

It’s doubtful that a visa requirement from one South American country will prompt Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cease his war in Gaza, but perhaps it speaks to Israel’s waning popularity on the world stage. According to The Associated Press, “Other South American countries, including Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, have recalled their ambassadors from Israel in protest over the fighting in Gaza.”

In the absence of more traditional diplomacy, it may be that Israel’s youth, crossing the globe, will bring back some insight into the international repercussions of the occupation.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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