The Jerusalem Prize was awarded to Uruguayan President José Mujica at a ceremony in Montevideo last week attended by former presidents Julio María Sanguinetti, Luis Alberto Lacalle and other dignitaries. For 21 years the Zionist Organization of Uruguay has given the award to defenders of human rights, promoters of peaceful coexistence among peoples and for showing solidarity with the people of Israel.
Mujica, who received a specially crafted shofar, expressed admiration for the Jewish people, recognizing their part “in the building of our nation.”
“How could I not respect them and love them?” he asked.
Uruguay’s Jewish community has about 20,000 members.