WJC Special Plenary Assembly

More than 400 Jewish community leaders from around the world gathered in Buenos Aires from 15-17 March, as the WJC held a special session of its Plenary Assembly, the organization’s highest decision-making body. Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri delivered a keynote speech at the opening event of the assembly, and Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartés was awarded the Latin American Jewish Congress’ Shalom Prize for his support for Israel. 
 
A portion of the meeting focused on the terrorist attacks of 1992, against the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, and 1994, against the main Jewish center in the city. Both have been blamed on Iran and Hezbollah. World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said:  "These were not just attacks on Jews, but attacks on Argentina […].The killing of Alberto Nisman was not just an attack on a Jewish lawyer. This was an attack on Argentina’s entire system of justice […] President Macri, you have promised that after all this time, Argentina will bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice. We believe you. We trust you. And the World Jewish Congress stands with you to help in any way that we can.” 

 Macri, in his speech, said his government was "fully committed to contribute in any way we can to make headway with this investigation." 

In policy issues, the plenary voted unanimously to allow Lauder to stand for a third consecutive term as WJC president, as stipulated by the WJC’s constitution.

In its resolutions, the WJC condemned Israel boycott movement as 'manifestation of anti-Semitism'. The WJC considers “efforts to discriminate against and delegitimize the State of Israel on university campuses, including the boycott of Israeli scholars and academicians, to be especially pernicious,” and condemns “those who deliberately seek to prevent economic, academic, and cultural cooperation, and obstructing global and Israeli and Palestinian economic opportunities.

It also urged “the international community to respond to Iran’s continued support for organizations engaged in terrorist activities, to address this on the agenda of the relevant international bodies and to require the Iranian government to surrender Iranian nationals suspected in connection with the attacks.”

The delegates, representing Jewish communities in 67 countries, also called on “governments to regulate international business and trade with nations that sponsor terror, including Iran.”

World leaders, as well as religious leaders and international organizations, should “jointly formulate an effective strategy to root out the campaign of incitement and recruitment by extremists, including through mosques and social media,” the assembly resolved.

The World Jewish Congress also calls on the international community, particularly the Gulf states, “to intercede with religious leadership, to ensure that mosques, and other cultural or religious institutions they fund, do not promote radical or extremist preaching or recruitment, and nor to allow their facilities to be used for any such purpose.”

The Plenary Assembly also highlighted the need “to recognize the parallels and links between the recent terror attacks around the world and the terrorism that Israelis and others have been subjected to for years by Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, and their predecessors and allies.”

The Jewish leaders call on governments “to treat attacks on religious institutions, including schools and community centers as hate crimes”. The resolution reaffirms the desire of the WJC “to working to safeguard all minority communities, including Yazidi, Christian, Muslim, and any communities threatened by sectarian violence.”

Speakers
  • GALA DINNER
  • Welcome Mr. Ariel Cohen Sabban, President of the Delegation of Argentine Jewish Associations, and Mr. Ralph Tomas Saieg, President of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association
  • Ronald S. Lauder President, World Jewish Congress Introduction of The President of Argentina H.E. Mr. Mauricio Macri
  • H.E. Mr. Mauricio Macri President of Argentina Guest of Honour
  • Mr. Jack Terpins WJC-Latin America Thanking H.E. Mr. Mauricio Macri
  • Mr. Eduardo Elsztain WJC Governing Board Chairman Remarks by Dinner Host
  • SPECIAL SESSION OF WJC PLENARY ASSEMBLY
  • Mr. Jack Terpins WJC-Latin America Welcome
  • Ronald S. Lauder President, World Jewish Congress President's Report
  • Chella Safra WJC Treasurer Treasurer's Report
  • Mr. Robert Goot Chair of WJC Credentials Commission, President, Executive Council of Australian Jewry Credentials Commission Report
  • Mr. Robert Singer WJC CEO & Executive Vice President Report on WJC Activities
  • ARGENTINIAN COUNCIL OF FOREIGN RELATIONS - ISRAEL COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS SESSION: DIFFERING PERCEPTIONS OF ISRAEL
  • Amb. Colette Avital Israel Council on Foreign Relations Board Member & WJC Israel Board Member Introduction
  • H.E. Mr. Adalberto Rodríguez Giavarini President of the Argentinian Council of Foreign Relations Intervention
  • COUNTERING THE BOYCOTT-DIVESTMENT-SANCTIONS MOVEMENT
  • Mrs. Evelyn Sommer WJC North America Chair Moderator
  • H.E. Mr. Luis Álmagro Lemes Secretary General of the Organization of American States Political View of Middle East Developments
  • Mr. Philippe Assouline WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps Discussion
  • H.E. Mr. Horacio Cartes President of Paraguay Presentation of the ‘Shalom Award’ by the Latin American Jewish Congress
  • SPECIAL SESSION OF WJC PLENARY ASSEMBLY
  • Mr. Naftali Bennett Minister of Diaspora Affairs & Minister of Education of the State of Israel Address
  • SESSION ON THE THREAT OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM - THE INTERNATIONAL REACH OF ISIS/ISIL/DAISH
  • Mr. Ariel Palacios Globo TV Moderator
  • H.E. Mr. Jean-Michel Casa Ambassador of France to Argentina Intervention
  • PRESENTATION OF SHALOM AWARD
  • Mr. Moshe Ronen Chair, WJC Resolutions Committee Discussion and Presentation of Resolutions on International Terrorism and AMIA bombing
  • DELEGATE INTERVENTIONS
  • Mr. Jonathan Arkush President, Board of Deputies of British Jews Moderator
  • Rabbi Yaakov Bleich Jewish Confederation of Ukraine Request for Kosher food at WJC events
  • Mr. Yuri Kanner President, Russian Jewish Congress The 20th anniversary of the Russian Jewish Congress
  • Mr. Giulio Disegni Vice President, Italian Jewish Community The 500th anniversary of the Venice Ghetto
  • Mr. Leon Cohen President, Jewish Community of Chile Pro-Palestinian bias in Chilean school books
  • Mrs. Cecília Caria Mendes Jewish Community of Lisbon Portuguese citizenship for descendants of the Portuguese Jewish community
  • WJC JEWISH DIPLOMATIC CORPS ACTIVITIES
  • Mr. Jacob Turner UK
  • Mr. Tal Dror Israel
  • CHALLENGES IN RELATIONS BETWEEN MUSLIMS AND JEWS
  • Mr. Claudio Epelman Executive Director, Latin American Jewish Congress Introduction
  • Mr. Omar Abboud Lay Leader of the Muslim Community of Argentina Remarks
  • ADDRESS BY THE FOREIGN MINISTER OF ARGENTINA
  • H.E. Mrs. Susanna Malcorra Foreign Minister of Argentina Address
  • CLOSING SESSION
  • Tribute to former Argentinian Prosecutor investigating 1994 AMIA attack Mr. Albert Nisman z’l