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Argentina Hosts First Anti-Semitism Forum in Latin America

The first Latin American meeting of the Global Forum for Combatting Antisemitism will have for the first time a non-Jewish group as co-organizer.

The meeting, being held for the first time in Latin America and for the first time with a non-Jewish partner, will gather more than 100 international experts in Buenos Aires July 17 -18.

The global forum to protect Jewish communities and Israel’s image in the region will be organized by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition, a Christian organization; and the World Jewish Congress through its regional chapter, the Latin American Jewish Congress, or LAJC.

“Anti-Semitism has its own dynamic in the region, so the issue is very important for us. The well-being of the Jewish communities in the Diaspora is a core issue for my government,” Israeli ambassador to Buenos Aires, Dorit Shavit, told JTA.

The meeting will include topics including: “Legal fight against anti-Semitism,” “Interreligious dialogue as a way to mitigate anti-Semitism,” “Education for coexistence and mutual respect,” and workshops about anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment in the region.

In March, the murder of Jewish businessman David Fremd in Uruguay marked the arrival of a new type of Islamist terrorism from the Middle East to Latin America. The attack by an individual came in a region that has seen deadly bombings in Buenos Aires of the Israeli Embassy in 1992 and the AMIA Jewish center in 1994, but not attacks against individuals.

“The murder in Uruguay must turn on all the alerts,” Shavit told JTA.

The Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism is a biennial gathering for assessing the state of anti-Semitism globally, and formulating effective forms of societal and governmental response. The forum is made up of an active coalition of public figures, political leaders, heads of civil society, clergy, journalists, diplomats, educators and concerned citizens dedicated to the advance of tolerance towards the other in public life and defeat of Anti-Semitism and other forms of racial and ethnic hatred.

Participants also will attend the ceremony of 22th anniversary of the AMIA Jewish Center bombing on July 18.

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