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The inaugural Central America Forum for Israel saw assembled political leaders from the region issue a joint declaration that called for a collective response to the rise of global anti-Semitism and expressed solidarity with Israel.

During the event, parliamentarians spoke about their opposition to anti-Semitism and called for the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of anti-Semitism.

They also urged governments to list the entirety of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Speakers also expressed solidarity with Israel in the aftermath of the May conflict with Hamas in which over 4,000 rockets were launched at Israel from Gaza.

The conference, organized by participating countries along with the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), the Center for Jewish Impact, the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala, the Guatemala-Israel Friendship League, and the Jewish community of Guatemala, was the third anniversary of Guatemala’s Israel Friendship Law.

The law mandated that Guatemalan schoolchildren are taught about Israel and its historical connection with Guatemala.

Earlier in the year, the Guatemalan Congress adopted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. During the May fighting, its parliament displayed support for Israel, passing Resolution 042021 that denounced Hamas for firing rockets at Israel.

At the conference, Guatemala’s President Dr. Alejandro Giammattei spoke of the strong bilateral ties between his nation and Israel that go back to the Jewish State’s first years.

He also talked about his country and government’s commitment to Holocaust remembrance and education.

“Guatemala adheres to, respects, and supports the fight against anti-Semitism,” he said.

The forum took place amid surging anti-Semitic incidents worldwide, including physical attacks, vandalism of synagogues and cemeteries, and unprecedented online hate.

During the forum, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid thanked Guatemala for its historic support for Israel. He also praised Giammattei and the forum’s attendees who came from South, Central and North America.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight against global terrorism. One key step is banning Hezbollah, all of Hezbollah, and I am thankful for those who have taken the step and call on every country to follow suit,” Lapid said.

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