With Israel under attack and the global Jewish community facing an unprecedented surge of antisemitic hatred, representatives of 17 countries gathered in Montevideo, Uruguay, on Tuesday for the start of the third annual Latin America-Israel Forum, organized by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM).
The opening gala dinner on Tuesday night, kicking off the three-day summit, turned into a powerful demonstration of solidarity with the Jewish state and people, with a photo exhibition and empty table drawing attention to the plight of the 240 kidnapped men, women, and children languishing in Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip for more than a month already.
At the summit, top decision-makers, diplomats, and communal leaders from across Latin America are convening to explore ways to further bolster the broad array of ties already connecting the region with Israel and address the challenges and opportunities currently faced in the collective effort against rising Jew-hatred.
Addressing the gathering, CAM Director of Hispanic Outreach Hispanic Outreach Shay Salamon said, “October 7th marked a turning point not only for Israel and the Jewish people, but for humanity. ‘Never Again’ has turned into ‘Now Again.'”
In her remarks, Israeli Ambassador to Uruguay Michal Hershkovitz noted, “The brutality and inhumanity of Hamas is unbelievable. But it doesn’t need to be believed. There’s evidence.”
Spanish journalist and former politician Pilar Rahola stated, “What we are witnessing now is not just a war against Israel, but on tolerance, respect, and civilization. Today, it’s against Israel. Tomorrow, against Europe. Then, the civilized world.”
Other speakers on Tuesday included: Vice President of Uruguay Beatriz Argimón; Chen Mizrachi, who survived the Nova music festival massacre; and Roby Schindler, president of the Central Israelite Committee of Uruguay (CCIU).
At the dinner, CAM also gave special recognitions to the Evangelical Alliance of Uruguay (CREU) and the City of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for their recent adoptions of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.
Representatives from 17 countries gathered Tuesday night in Montevideo, Uruguay for the third annual Latin America-Israel Forum to demonstrate their solidarity with the Jewish state and people of Israel. pic.twitter.com/kkidrIbiEW
— Combat Antisemitism Movement (@CombatASemitism) November 8, 2023
A joint declaration to be issued at the end of the forum will call for international support of Israel in its fight against terrorism and implore world leaders to exert pressure on Hamas to immediately release all of the hostages it is holding.
The declaration will also denounce campaigns to delegitimize Israel, including the BDS movement, and underscore the importance of using the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism to delineate all modern-day manifestations of this age-old societal scourge.