AJC Project Interchange, in collaboration with AJC’s Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs (BILLA) and the Jewish community of Uruguay, hosted its first seminar in Israel comprised of senators, congressmen, and other top political leaders from Uruguay. The strong relationship between Israel and Uruguay began when Uruguay became the first country in South America to officially recognize Israel and opened the first Israeli Embassy in Latin America in November 1948. This seminar included high-level briefings with members of Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) and government officials, such as Yuval Steinitz, Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water, along with site visits throughout Israel, provided participants with first-hand understanding of the geopolitical difficulties facing Israel and the region, an overview of Israel’s strategic environment and the diversity and richness of Israeli society. Also on the agenda were meetings with the Palestinian leaders who provided additional insight into life in the Palestinian Authority and the complexities of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Sessions of special interest to Uruguayan leaders included: Israel’s approaches to water reclamation and management, innovations in agriculture, challenges facing secondary educational systems, and Israel’s prison system and approaches to reducing recidivism. Speakers also discussed Arab-Jewish coexistence efforts, human rights, and Israel’s legal system.
This seminar was made possible through the generous support of the Paul and Balbina Schifter Memorial fund.
Photo Gallery: Uruguayan Political Leaders — July 2016