At Historic ‘Night of Celebration for Israel,’ Uruguayan Jews and Christians Strengthen Interfaith Ties
The Jewish and Christian communities of the South American nation of Uruguay came together last month for a “Night of Celebration for Israel,” a first-of-its-kind event in the country that was aimed at strengthening interfaith ties.
The historic gathering — co-hosted by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and the Latino Coalition for Israel (LCI) — was held at the Centro Cristiano del Cordón in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo on July 19th.
Notable participants included former President of the Republic of Guatemala Jimmy Morales; Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay Gerardo Amarilla; Apostle and President of LCI Mario Bramnick; CAM Director of Hispanic Outreach Shay Salamon; and former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Ellie Cohanim.
Also in attendance were President of the Technological Laboratory of Uruguay Ruperto Long, as well Uruguayan Members of Parliament Alvaro Dastugue and Pedro Jisdonian.
In his remarks, former Guatemalan President Morales recalled the moment he decided to move his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and also highlighted the importance of the recognition of the new State of Israel in 1948 by the foreign ministers of Guatemala and Uruguay at the time, the late Jorge García Granados and Enrique Rodríguez Fabregat.
Undersecretary Amarilla referred to the biblical verse of Genesis 12, saying, “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’”
Amarilla commented, “We appropriate this blessing and we celebrate being with the Jewish people today.” He also noted that, in the international arena, Uruguay has stood “at the side of Israel, not because sometimes it is politically correct, but because it is what is right.”
Salamon spoke about the worrying rise of antisemitism worldwide, saying, “Jew-hatred never remains Jew-hatred. What starts with the Jew, tomorrow it will be against another belief, against the freedom to do what we are doing anywhere in the world.”
Cohanim pointed out, “We are in a delicate time. We are witnessing antisemitism throughout the world.”
Salamon said that CAM would continue to broaden its activities throughout Latin America, and he announced the upcoming second annual Central America-Israel Forum, to be held in Panama on September 6th-8th, with prominent guests coming from across the region, the United States, and Israel.
A full recording of the “Night of Celebration for Israel” (in Spanish) can be viewed here: