B’nai B’rith’s top leaders have just concluded a multi-country mission in Latin America, where B’nai B’rith has had a strong presence for more than 80 years.
President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin led a delegation of B’nai B’rith leaders to Argentina, Uruguay and Chile.
Together with local leadership, including International Senior Vice President Eduardo Weinstein in Chile; B'nai B'rith Latin American Chair and BBA Mentor Mario Wilhelm in Argentina; President's Advisor Jorge Stainfeld in Argentina and Uruguay; and Director for Latin America Affairs Eduardo Kohn in all three countries, Saltzman and Mariaschin met leading officials, media and the Jewish communities.
[Read: Complete media coverage of the mission]
The delegation met with: President of Argentina Mauricio Macri; Vice President of Uruguay Raul Sendic; Argentinean Minister of Foreign Affairs Susana Malcorra; Argentinean Minister of Security Patricia Bullrich; President of the Supreme Court of Justice of Uruguay Jorge Chediak; Argentinean Secretary of Human Rights Claudio Avruj; U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay Kelly Keiderling, U.S. Ambassador to Chile Carol Perez; Deputy Chief of Mission in Argentina Tom Cooney; Israeli Ambassador to Argentina Ilan Sztulman; Israeli Ambassador to Uruguay Nina Ben Ami; Israeli Ambassador to Chile Eldad Hayet; Chief of the Americas Department Ambassador Javier Becker in Chile; the Executive Committee of Argentina’s Jewish umbrella group DAIA (Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas); leaders from AMIA (Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) in Argentina; and the president of the Jewish Community in Chile.
At these high-level meetings, B’nai B’rith stressed the global voting record at the United Nations in relations to Israel and the unfairness of the bloc voting which benefits Palestinian intransigence for face-to-face meetings, at the expense of Israel. B’nai B’rith insisted at each meeting that Latin American countries can be of crucial help if they are adamant to the Palestinians that there is no other way to achieving peace than accepting a face-to-face peace negotiation around one table.
There were media interviews and numerous reports in social media, including tweets from President Macri´s office . In Uruguay the daily newspapers El Observador and El Pais featured the meetings on page 1. There was also an interview for social media in Chile.
The tragic humanitarian crisis in Venezuela was also an important topic for discussion. B’nai B’rith will be attending the next Organization of American States General Assembly in Mexico in June and will voice very clearly that humanitarian aid in medicines and food for the Venezuelan people is urgent.
Interfaith relations were discussed widely with the Jewish community and B’nai B’rith leadership in Chile.
B’nai B’rith Argentina’s effective medicine distribution program was also discussed with Macri and Foreign Minister Malcorra. The program, which was developed by B’nai B’rith Argentina with the support of OSDE, in 2002, has delivered nearly $100,000,000 worth of medicines to each corner of the country. It is a significant B’nai B’rith community action service that continues today, distributing wheel chairs and other medical supplies.
Saltzman and Mariaschin had in-depth meetings with B’nai B’rith leaders and volunteers in all three countries and discussed in detail the vast programs of B’nai B’rith International as well as those created and run by B’nai B’rith Latin America, in the community action and policy fields.
In Argentina, Saltzman and Mariaschin were joined by B'nai B'rith Argentina President David Petliuk, B'nai B'rith Latin American Chair and BBA Mentor Mario Wilhelm, B'nai B'rith Argentina Vice President Daniel Sporn, B'nai B'rith Argentina Vice President Susana Chalon and B'nai B’rith special advisor on Latin American Affairs Adriana Camisar,. In Chile, Saltzman and Mariaschin were joined by B'nai B'rith Chile President Jaime Fuchs, B'nai B'rith Senior Latin America Vice President Eduardo Weinstein, and B'nai B'rith Chile Director Jorge Zeballos. In Uruguay, Saltzman and Mariaschin were joined by B'nai B'rith Uruguay President Ana Wilenski, B'nai B'rith Uruguay Vice President Franklin Rosenfeld, B'nai B'rith Uruguay Vice President Fredy Mayer, B'nai B'rith International Executive Committee Member Jacobo Wolkowicz, B'nai B'rith Uruguay Political Commission Chair Bernardo Gitman, B'nai B'rith Uruguay Political Action Network Chair Enrique Jinchuk, Morris Segal, Jorge Stainfeld and B'nai B'rith Director of Latin America Affairs Eduardo Kohn.