The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) met this week with former President of Uruguay Julio María Sanguinetti, who offered a powerful call to support Israel following the barbaric Hamas terrorist attack in which more than 1,300 Israelis were murdered and around 150 others were kidnapped.
At the meeting, Sanguinetti — who served as president of Uruguay from 1985-1990 and 1995-2000 — confirmed his participation in the upcoming Latin America-Israel Forum, to be hosted by CAM on November 7-9 in Montevideo.
CAM was represented at the meeting by Director of Hispanic Outreach Shay Salamon and Coordinator of Hispanic Outreach Nurit Caplivschi.
Watch Sanguinetti’s comments on Israel here:
The transcript of Sanguinetti’s remarks follows:
Once again, since 1948, Israel has had to fight to defend its survival; that is what it is about.
In that year, and this must be repeated every day, two states were created in the United Nations, a Jewish state and an Arab state.
The intransigence and fanaticism of the Arab states due to their hatred of Israel also prevented the Arab state from being born, and we have been in this history for 75 years.
Israel, since 1948, when it first gained its independence, has been involved in seven wars, let’s say three or four intifadas, a constant sacrifice.In recent years, peace has advanced. There was a peace agreement with Egypt; there was a peace agreement with Jordan; and recently, the Abraham plan or pact, an agreement with the Emirates; an agreement with Bahrain; an agreement with Morocco. The possibility that would already be extraordinary of a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia, and that is where the guerrilla action appears to bomb peace; this is against Israel, this is against peace, and Israel has the right to defend itself.
Today, many people will hypocritically come out and say, as has happened in each of these wars, I am a living witness to all of this. They will say the reaction is disproportionate. What is disproportionate? It has to defend itself, after a surprise attack, bloody, cruel, and murderous in all its dimensions, they killed 800–900 people, including women and children, trying to spread terror.
Israel has to defend itself, it not only has the right but, I would say, the duty towards its citizens as a state to defend itself. Yes, it will have to enter Gaza territory, which was never Palestinian. Gaza’s territory was Arab; it was Egypt; it was Egyptian until the Six-Day War when Israel took it, and Israel handed it over to the Palestinian Authority in 2005.
So we continue to talk about a non-existent occupation, what we are talking about is a permanent denial of these extremist groups, whose space has fortunately been reduced, but to the extent that their space is reduced, their aggressiveness increases. It’s violence, unfortunately, fueled by a state in the Muslim world, presumably Iran.
So, we, Uruguayans, who identify with the Jewish cause and with the cause of the State of Israel, to whose birth we contributed so much, are more obliged than ever to fight at their side. Unfortunately, we are not all there, but almost all of us are there, which is what matters.