Buenos Aires – The WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps, under the leadership of WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, sent a delegation of 25 members from ten countries to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in mid-July to attend the Latin American Forum on Combating Antisemitism. Organized by the WJC, the Latin American Jewish Congress, and the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the forum gathered more than 300 participants from Latin America including senior politicians, policy makers, and Jewish community leaders. Following the Forum, members of the Jewish Diplomatic Corps continued their stay in Buenos Aires for the JDCorps regional meeting.
On 18 July, the delegation paid their respects at the commemoration ceremony of the 28th anniversary of the AMIA bombing where 85 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in a Hezbollah-perpetrated attack.
“Standing at the site of this heinous attack and listening to the survivors was incredibly painful but reminded me of the importance of our mission,” said WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps Member Gabriel Katz from Uruguay, during the commemoration service at the AMIA headquarters. After this emotional event, the group had a chance to visit AMIA and experience the renewed life of the community center.
On the sidelines of the forum, the WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps delegation conducted diplomatic meetings with local, national, and international decision makers and officials to elevate Jewish concerns onto the political world stage and warn against the rising levels of Jew-hatred.
The group met with Fernando Lottenberg, the Organization of American States (OAS) Commissioner to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, who called upon the WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps members to work together with his office to combat antisemitism in their respective countries, which he described as a “problem for all of society not just for the Jewish community”.
The delegation met with the First Vice President of the Buenos Aires Legislature Emmanuel Ferrario, Deputy Foreign Minister of Argentina Pablo Tettamanti, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the UAE Embassy to Argentina, Hussain Ali Ali Bin Hilal Alnaqbi, and participated in internal meetings and training sessions as well.
The delegation ended its mission to Buenos Aires by conducting meetings with the embassies of the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Germany, Israel, Paraguay, Uruguay and the United States to Argentina to discuss Jew-hatred, issues of concern to the Jewish community, the IHRA definition, and more.
The series of diplomatic meetings also included the leadership of the Diplomatic Academy of Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which recruits and trains future Argentinian diplomats. The group discussed areas of cooperation between Argentine diplomatic missions and Jewish communities worldwide.