Buenos Aires hosts the Latin American Forum on the fight against antisemitism

Christians are join the front lines in the fight against anti-Semitism and hate speech in Latin America.

“Not only do we have common interests with the Jewish community, but the enemies who seek to attack the Jewish people are the same enemies who seek to attack Christians today,” said Mario Bramnick, president of the Latin American Coalition for Israel (LCI), told ALL ISRAEL NEWS.

Bramnick’s LCI – which is based in America – joined the Latin American Forum to Combat Antisemitism in Buenos Aires, Argentina, along with Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Movement to Combat Antisemitism (CAM) and the Latin American Jewish Congress for organizing this year’s event. The first forum took place in 2015.

More than 300 Jewish and Christian leaders, including 40 from governments across Latin America, participated in this second forum. Jimmy Morales, a Christian and former president of Guatemala – the first Latin American country to move its embassy from Israel to Jerusalem – was present with Israeli Ambassador Galit Ronen, Uruguayan Deputy Environment Minister Gerardo Amarilla, Colombian evangelical pastor Eduardo Gomez, president of the Jewish community of Chile Gerardo Gorodischer; Uruguayan Senator Alejandro Sánchez and Uruguayan Congressman Felipe Schipani, a member of the ruling coalition.

The covenant between Christians and Jews is more important today than at any time in our history, Bramnick pointed out. While America and Europe face their own variations of anti-Semitism and rising anti-Israel sentiment, Latin America suffers from a lack of clear policies on these issues.

Few countries in South America have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism, and many also lack anti-discrimination laws.

“We’ve seen great progress in terms of pro-Israel support in Latin America among Christian groups, and I think it’s time to use these alliances to more effectively combat anti-Semitism,” Bramnick said.

Bramnick – an evangelical supporter of Israel – believes it is the responsibility of Christians to defend the Jewish people and Israel.

This type of hatred, he said, also targets Christians through “left-progressive groups and governments, radical Islamists and neo-Nazis or far-right radicals who seek to destroy the foundations of Judeo-Christian values ​​of the nation”.

“Christians are now starting to feel persecuted in America and Latin America and there has been targeting,” he noted. “It is imperative that both groups unite against all forms of persecution, racism, bigotry, hatred, including anti-Semitism.”

During the forum, different working groups recommended encouraging countries to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism, combating antisemitism on social media, promoting interfaith relations and pushing adoption. of anti-BDS laws in Latin America.

Ahead of the forum, Latin American Jewish Congress executive director Claudio Epelman said in a statement that delegates would address some important distinctions unique to their region of the world.

“We need to think about this phenomenon from a Latin American perspective: what are the characteristics of hate speech in our territory, how does it differ from what is happening in other parts of the world?” he said.

Yad Vashem President Dani Dayan, born in the Argentine capital, was the keynote speaker at the forum.

In an interview with ALL ISRAEL NEWS in July, Dayan said he planned to sign an agreement to “strengthen and improve” cooperation on Holocaust studies, including bringing Argentine instructors to Yad Vashem and the center. sending teachers to Argentina.

“We place great importance on Holocaust education and awareness in the Spanish-speaking world,” he added.

The Forum was held on the 28th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Jewish Community Center of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were killed on July 18, 1994 While Hezbollah operatives under Iranian leadership were believed to have been responsible, to date no one has been held accountable.

Bramnick said each of the memorial service attendees held a card with the name of one of the victims.

Yet no one has escaped the irony that Iran, “the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism,” has only expanded its reach and capabilities since then, Bramnick said, adding that ” our administration now wants to push the nuclear deal forward with them.”

“Here we commemorate the loss and at the same time we know that none of those involved in the AMIA bombing were held accountable,” Bramnick noted. “Now we see Iran and its proxies – Hezbollah – having greater capabilities.”

“We are less safe today in Buenos Aires, Miami, New York, Paris, than before,” he said.

This article originally appeared on ALL ISRAEL NEWS and is republished with permission.

Barry F. Howard