Joint Declaration of Second Annual Central America-Israel Forum Highlights Region’s Solidarity With Jewish State
September 14, 2022
Top government officials, community leaders and activists, and NGO heads gathered in Panama City last week for the second annual Central America-Israel Forum, celebrating the Jewish state’s deep and longstanding ties with the nations of the region.
In their speeches and panel discussions at Parlatino, the Latin American Parliament, the more than 300 participants from 14 countries discussed contemporary relations between Central America, Israel, and the United States, and addressed challenges and opportunities in the global fight against Jew-hatred.
Prominent speakers included Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama Erika Mouynes, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guatemala Mario Búcaro, Minister of Education of the Republic of Panama Maruja Gorday de Villalobos, Minister of Social Development of Panama María Inés Castillo de Sanmartín, Vice Minister of Culture of Panama Gabriel González, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay Gerardo Amarilla, and former U.S. Special Envoy for Combating and Monitoring Antisemitism Elan Carr.
From Israel, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Oded Forer and Minister of Diaspora Affairs Nachman Shai also participated via video.
At the forum’s opening dinner at the Waldorf Astoria, Minister Búcaro was presented by CAM with the first-ever Diplomatic Advocate for Israel Award, in recognition of his strong and enduring relations with the State of Israel and the Jewish people.
The forum was hosted by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), Center for Jewish Impact, and Panama-Israel Friendship League.
Next year’s summit will be held in Montevideo, Uruguay, under the new banner of “Latin America-Israel Forum.”
The following Joint Declaration was issued at the conclusion of this year’s summit:
We, participants in the Central America-Israel Forum, agree to the following declaration:
We SUPPORT the strengthening of ties between Central American nations and the State of Israel in all areas and arenas.
We RECOGNIZE the State of Israel as the national, ancestral, and homeland of the Jewish People and call to combat those who seek to delegitimize it, especially those who seek its end through the discriminatory Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, whose leaders are antisemitic and anti-peace.
We ENDORSE a mutually agreed-upon solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that meets the national aspirations and security needs of both parties. We do not support the internationalization of the conflict and using international institutions to attack the Jewish State or seek unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations.
We ENCOURAGE more Arab and Muslim nations to join the circle of peace and the Abraham Accords, ensuring a more peaceful region where cooperation and collaboration between Israel and its neighbors increases.
We CALL on Palestinian leaders to seize this opportunity, choosing the path and language of peace and fraternity.
We STAND with the State of Israel in its objection to the Islamic Republic of Iran achieving nuclear weapons capabilities and call on the international community to stand firm in its position to ensure that a return to the JCPOA means that the path to nuclear weapons capability is permanently prevented.
We AFFIRM that antisemitism is an increasing ill in societies across the globe and support the use of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, agreed upon by the European Commission and the United States, among many other leading international entities. This definition allows for anti-Jewish prejudice to be clearly defined in its modern-day forms, helping law enforcement to handle it appropriately and justly.