In a historic move, the Latin American embassy in the United States held a Hanukkah party this week for the first time. The celebration was organized by The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and the Central America Forum for Israel. The event, which was held at the residence of Guatemalan Ambassador to the US H.E. Alfonso Quiñónez, coincided with the 74th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Partition Plan on November 29, which passed with crucial support from several Central American countries and paved the way for the State of Israel’s establishment.
The festivities were attended by ambassadors and high-level diplomats from Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Israel.
Ambassador Quiñónez noted the long commitment that Guatemala has with Israel, stretching back to the Partition Plan, and being one of the first nations to recognize the State of Israel and move their embassy to Jerusalem. He also addressed his country’s ongoing commitment to fighting antisemitism.
“Antisemitism is alive, and we need to work together to fight it,” Ambassador Quiñónez said in his remarks, calling on more nations to join the Central American Forum for Israel.
The event featured a menorah-lighting ceremony led by Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt, a CAM Advisory Board member, who also noted the significance of holding a Hanukkah event during the UN Partition Vote anniversary.
“We again express our gratitude to your country for this, as well as for being the first country after the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Rabbi Weinblatt said. “We appreciate your standing up to the forces who would seek to divide our people. For when we celebrate the victory of the Maccabees, we celebrate a battle that was won, but unfortunately, one which is not over.”
CAM Director of Hispanic Outreach Shay Salamon presented each of the ambassadors with a Hanukkiah, thanking them for their support for Israel and the fight against antisemitism.