The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) was proud to deliver a special recognition to Panamanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Janaina Tewaney Mencomo last week, thanking Panama for its recent adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.
The letter of appreciation, initiated by CAM and signed by more than 100 partner organizations, was presented to Deputy Panamanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Franco Sousa by CAM Director of Hispanic Outreach Shay Salamon at the official opening ceremony for the week-long display of the “No Discriminarás” (“Thou Shall Not Discriminate”) traveling art exhibit at the Panama Viejo Museum in Panama City, Panama.
The full letter and list of signatories can be read here.
Watch a video of the presentation, including remarks from Salamon, here:
“On behalf of the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and all the partners listed below, we would like to express our deepest appreciation to the President of the Republic of Panama and his government for the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism,” the letter said. “With this important move, Panama is now among the 42 nations to have embraced a leadership role in the fight against antisemitism and recognized the IHRA definition as the most authoritative and comprehensive tool to delineate and take action to counter all forms of contemporary Jew-hatred.”
“At a time of rising antisemitism worldwide, we hope more countries, both in Latin America and across the globe, will emulate this vital step you have taken to stand against bigotry and prejudice and promote social tolerance and harmony,” it continued. “Moreover, Panama’s historical commitment to supporting the Jewish people and its dedication to fostering tolerance and respect for all cultures and religions are truly commendable. Your nation’s compassion and humanitarian efforts during the Second World War, when it provided refuge and assistance to Jewish refugees escaping persecution in Europe, serve as a testament to Panama’s unwavering commitment to human rights and compassion.”
“We pledge our continued support and collaboration with Panama in this crucial endeavor,” the letter declared. “Together, we can create a world where all individuals, regardless of their faith or background, can live without fear of discrimination and hatred.”
It concluded, “Once again, please accept our sincerest gratitude for your country’s commitment to combating antisemitism. We are hopeful that Panama’s example will inspire other nations, not only in Latin America but worldwide, to follow suit and take a stand against hatred in all its forms.”
According to data compiled by the CAM Antisemitism Research Center and Tel Aviv University’s Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, a total of 1,192 entities worldwide had adopted or endorsed the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism as of the end of June. This number represents a broad array of international institutions and organizations, national and local governments, NGOs, universities, athletic clubs, and corporations that have embraced the definition as a framework for recognizing all contemporary iterations of Jew-hatred, training and educational programs, and policymaking initiatives.
(For more information on past data, please see the “IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism 2022 Adoptions & Endorsements Report,” published in January by CAM and Tel Aviv University’s Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, here.)
The IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism says, “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
The non-legally binding definition includes 11 explanatory examples detailing specific discriminatory behaviors targeting Jews.