For Israel, the relationship with the US is strategic and of great importance. The future of this relationship will depend greatly on whether Israel garners the support of Latinos living in the US in the coming years.
Today, there are close to 60 million Latinos in the US. However, by the year 2050, they will number roughly one in three Americans. The position of Israel-Latin American Network (ILAN) passionately focuses on this point, and in large part seeks to promote the role of Israel among Latinos in the US, through the recognition and promotion of innovation.
Today, the most admired leaders in the world are innovators. Whether in universities or the business world, Israel is a global leader and promoter of innovation. ILAN’s mission is to recognize Latino innovators on behalf of Israel, both in the US and in Latin America (LATAM).
By acknowledging these innovators at large-scale events attended by Israeli officials, diplomats, politicians, academics, and businessmen, and inviting these innovators to Israel on a discovery tour, ILAN has proven that these individuals transform into Israel’s allies and ambassadors of goodwill.
How will strong Latino innovators help Israel-US ties?
Above and beyond, it forms a strong community of Latino innovators who strive to work together with Israeli innovators in partner projects that seek to improve the lives of Latinos in the US and LATAM. ILAN also believes strongly that this type of activity will also positively impact the diplomatic relations between Israel and Latin American countries.
For this work in the US, we have entered into a strategic alliance with The Latino Coalition (TLC) which supports more than 240 thousand Latino businesses in the US. Together we are implementing a proactive agenda – both at the business level and in the universities of the states where the majority of Latinos reside – to build strong partnerships that will yield fruit on behalf of the State of Israel, and its image in this community.
Given that Latinos in the US maintain strong ties with their families in their countries of origin – demonstrated through significant remittances sent to their relatives – it is extremely important to also carry out the same activities to recognize and promote innovation throughout LATAM.
We believe that this positive impact will ultimately yield fruit in two primary areas: first, Israel will garner better diplomatic and political relations with the 33 LATAM countries; and second, combating growing antisemitism and delegitimization of the state of Israel.
ILAN was born five years ago as a nonprofit foundation. We have a presence in five countries: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Israel, Mexico and the US. In the next five years, we aim to expand our presence to the entire LATAM region, with an eye to expand in every US state where there is a significant presence of Latinos.
We look forward to working closely with the State of Israel and its various agencies to work hand in glove to achieve this goal for the benefit of our people and all those around the world who seek peace.
The writer is founder of Israel-Latin American Network (ILAN).