I'm not in a position to influence on our foreign minister who happens to be also our prime minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, but maybe my words will convince him to change his mind.
Reading the newspaper last week a small article caught my eyes. The author was Mr. Hugo Martinez, the foreign minister of El Salvador in Central America. The honorable Minister published his article on Hebrew addressing the Israeli public and the Israeli administration by pointing out the fact that the Israeli foreign ministry has decided to close the Israeli representation in El Salvador. Checking this argument I discovered that this decision was made due of budget reasons. The State of Israel can't keep its representation in El Salvador because it's too expensive to keep it. That was the simple fact behind the decision.
On the other hand another fact is that the number of the Israeli representations around the world is much less then all the Arab representations, for example, and maybe this is one of the reasons why many people all over the world do not really know anything about Israel and the Jewish people except of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many people don't know that the State of Israel was created mostly because of the Jewish Holocaust and since the creation of our State we are keeping fighting for our life.
I guess that most of the readers would probably being passing on this article if only that fact was mentioned but there was more then that. Minister Martinez brought in his article the story of Colonel José Arturo Castellanos who was serving under the foreign ministry of El Salvador as a consul in Geneva during the years 1942 - 1945. Earlier while serving in Germany Castellanos urged his superiors in the foreign ministry to help the Jews by providing them visas in order to enable them to leave Germany. He wasn't allowed to do that, but when he arrived to Geneva he took an independent decision and with the help of George Mandel, a Hungarian Jewish businessman, they issued many visas which enabled almost 40,000 Hungarian Jews to escape from the Nazis.
On May 3, 2010, Colonel Castellanos was recognized by Yad VaShem in Jerusalem as a Righteous among the Nations, a recognition which testifies that the one who carries it was saving Jews during the Holocaust. On one hand I was proud to discover that the late Colonel Castellanos rescued many of my people, like Oscar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg did. But on the other hand I was embarrassed to discover that our representation in El Salvador will be closed in a year from now.
Quoting Minister Martinez, Colonel Castellanos showed "a humanitarian involvement" by doing what he did for the Jews as part of his mission as a consul, the Minister pointed out how much important was the fact that a diplomatic representation could provide humanitarian aid during such horrible crisis. He claimed that this was one of the greatest chapters in the history of the El Salvador nation and the Jews and later on with the State of Israel, due of the fact that El Salvador recognized Israel as a nation on 1948 after its creation.
I'm sure that the economy in El Salvador probably isn't like in Germany today, maybe El Salvador can't keep also its embassy in Israel due of budget reasons, but the fact that the El Salvadorian foreign Minister brought this issue to the Israeli public shows how much it is important to El Salvador that the Israeli representation will stay open.
For my opinion, Africa and South/Central America didn't play yet an important role in the world order so we should do our best to continue keeping cultural and other relations with these continents even if we are paying more money to keep them compare to the benefit which we are earning from them. To be honest, I never being to El Salvador even that it's on my mind to travel there one day. As a writer and a film maker I thought immediately to make a movie about this story but I will need El Salvador permission and its aid for that.
Heroes are not only those who fight with a knife or a gun, heroes are also those who use their compassion and pen by making new identities for hunted people like the Jews during the Holocaust and by that giving them the hope to continue to live their life.
Sometimes one person can make a huge change for millions. Colonel Castellanos made such a change.