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Spanish-Speaking Jews Discuss Political Shifts

Representatives of Jewish communities in Spanish-speaking countries are meeting this weekend in Miami to discuss the effects of recent political shifts on Jewish life in the Americas and Iberia.

Approximately 200 people are expected at the sixth annual conference on trans-nationalism and its impact on the Jewish agenda, which is organized by the Latino and Latin American Institute of the American Jewish Committee.

The conference will bring together representatives of Jewish communities in Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean as well as Hispanic Jews from Florida.

Dina Siegel Vann, the institute’s director, said that this year’s elections in Mexico, Venezuela and the United States will be discussed at the meeting.

“In the U.S., the growing political empowerment of Latinos will be discussed, as this electorate was very much responsible for re-electing President Obama,” she said.

Another central issue will be negotiations between Iran and Argentina about the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community’s center in Buenos Aires, the AMIA building.

“Iran continues to deny its responsibility in the attack despite the fact that both the Argentine judiciary and Interpol have proven unequivocally that it was involved at the highest levels,” Siegel Vann said. “Unfortunately, we do not expect any concrete results advancing the cause of justice.”

Other topics on the agenda include dialogue between Jewish communities in south Florida and other Spanish-speaking communities; Jewish and Arab diasporas in Latin America and relations between Latin American countries and the Middle East.

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