In order to show his support for Israel, Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), announced that they will create an office against antisemitism in Latin America that will be in charge of a commissioner.
“There are campaigns that try to delegitimize Israel”, Almagro stated at the Global Forum of the American Jewish Committee (AJC). And he added: “I want to say it loud and clear: ask for the disappearance of the State of Israel it is an act of terrorism and it’s plain and simple anti-Semitism. “
Almagro recalled in this context the terrorist attack against AMIA headquarters in 1994 and against Embassy of israel in 1992, both in Buenos Aires, stating that “anti-Semitism has had traumatic and violent dimensions in our region.” He also cited as background the attacks against the Jewish community in Chile and the use of anti-Semitism as an ideological political tool.
“All are clear examples of threats not only against Jewish communities, but against the society to which they belong”, He emphasized.
Argentina comes from having diplomatic friction with Israel over its position in the conflict with Hamas.
It was after the Foreign Ministry issued a statement in May in which it established the Government’s position regarding the war in the Gaza Strip, condemning Israel for the “Disproportionate use of force” against the Palestinians.
.Argentina’s vote at the United Nations to condemn, investigate and eventually qualify as “war crimes” the missile attacks launched by Israel against Gaza raised the tension.
“The Argentine Republic expresses its deep concern over the dramatic worsening of the situation in Israel and Palestine , the disproportionate use of force by Israeli security units in the face of protests over possible evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods, as well as the response through the launching missiles and incendiary devices from the Gaza Strip, “said the area headed by Felipe Solá in May..
This position fell badly in sectors of the Jewish community in Argentina, as Clarín learned at the time.
“This statement we see with concern and does not express the good relationship that exists between our countries,” said then the Israeli ambassador to Argentina, Galit Ronen.
The May war between Israel and Palestine – which reached a ceasefire after more than 19 days – ended with 232 Palestinians dead, including 65 children and 39 women, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. And 12 dead (including two minors) in Israel, due to the launch of missiles.
The OAS office
According to Almagro about the new office against anti-Semitism, “the main responsibilities will be to promote the adoption and implementation by all countries of the region of the working definition of anti-Semitism of the International Alliance for the Remembrance of the Holocaust.”
The OAS plan is to “energetically involve states and civil society organizations to create awareness on the need to remain alert to all forms of anti-Semitism, ”Almagro said.
According to the official statement, the decision of the secretary general of the Pan American organization to create this office is “a consequence of the establishment in recent years of similar positions in Europe, Canada and the United States“.
“We are confident that our hemisphere needs to be adequately prepared to face the growing threats of anti-Semitism in the same way that many other nations and democratic international organizations have done ”, he concluded.