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South American Group in Israel on Support Mission

While the world condemns Israel, a South American group brings a welcome message of support for the country.
By David Lev
First Publish: 6/9/2010, 12:36 AM / Last Update: 6/9/2010, 2:48 AM

Amisrael.org.il
Dozens of politicians and community officials from Latin America are in Israel this week to show solidarity with the country and the Israeli people.


Conference organizers say that while support for Israel is important at any time, this year's Conference is an important display of support for at a crucial time.

The Jerusalem International Conference is an annual event sponsored by AmIsrael, a Brazilian organization that seeks to promote peace and support for the State of Israel among people of all backgrounds. In recent years, the event has been the largest gathering of Latin American politicians in Israel, and this year more people than ever are attending the Conference, thanks to the participation of several European delegates.

Conference organizers say that while support for Israel is important at any time, this year's Conference, in the wake of the IDF action against the Gaza terrorist flotilla, is an important display of support for the country at a crucial time.

In addition, many of the participants said they specifically wanted to participate this year to show solidarity with Israel because of the Iranian nuclear program. A number of South American countries – including Brazil, which just signed a joint deal Iran and Turkey to process uranium for Tehran – officially support Iran's nuclear program, and the delegates wish to show that that sentiment is by no means universal.

Among the highlights of the Conference will be a meeting with top government officials and community leaders, including addresses by Miki Goldwasser and Noam Shalit; the former is the mother of Ehud Goldwasser, who was kidnapped and murdered by Hizbullah in 2006, and the latter is the father of Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas around the same time and is believed to be still alive.

Top security officials will conduct presentations on the problems facing the country, and participate in events aimed at advancing shared values on a broad spectrum of political, legal, and social issues.

“We are truly grateful to see the growing regional and global support demonstrated this year at the 2010 Jerusalem International Conference,” said Dr. William Soto, International Director and Founder of AmIsrael. “It is reassuring to see that so many world leaders have come together to address these very important issues, based on a spirit of cooperation and on our shared values.”