Sunday, April 25, 2010

Latin America, Israel and the Jews

The most recent survey of Jewish population (2006) stipulates that around 393,100 Jews, or 3.0% of the global Jewish population, lives in Latin America (Spanish America and Brazil). In comparison, there are 373,500 Jews (2.9% of global Jewish population) living in Canada, which has the fourth largest Jewish population in the world. (American Jewish Year Book, 2006)

The physical movement of Jewish populations in the twentieth century, together with the Holocaust, created a new global demographic profile for the Jews. Latin America absorbed many Jewish families before and after World War II. At the same time, plenty of Nazi criminals were given refuge in Latin America, including notorious murderers such as Adolf Eichmann. Combined with the influence of Spanish anti-Semitism, which dates back to several centuries ago, a non-mainstream trend of anti-Semitism was created in Latin America. Add to that anti-Israel views. Journalists such as Jose Levy (CNN en Español) and Shlomo Slutsky (El Clarín newspaper, Argentina) are clearly biased against Israel in their reportages. Their motives may be simply marketability and sales. However, the damage is made to the Jews and to Israel, regardless of the reasons.

We cannot allow the anti-Semites to win the information war, in any part of the world. That is why I, am a Latin American Jew, am starting a blog about anti-Semitism in Latin America and about the relationship that countries in this region have with Israel. Much of the information is inaccessible to the world, since it is mostly in Spanish. My job from now on will be to communicate, summarize and explain anti-Semitic attacks, bias in the press and other relevant information from Latin America to the world, in English.

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