NEW YORK (Aug. 28)
The eight-member delegation of the American Jewish Committee, headed by Irving M. Engel and Jacob Blaustein, returned today from its 22-day visit to Latin American countries where the AJC leaders established closer contact with local Jewish communities and discussed problems of interest to Jews with the heads of local governments.
Mr. Engel, AJC president, reported that there is practically no anti-Jewish discrimination in the countries which they visited and that sincere efforts are being made to foster democratic regimes devoted to the maintenance and strengthening of human rights, particularly in the countries which have been dominated by dictatorship in recent years.
“The attitude of the governments and peoples toward Israel is a friendly one.” Mr. Engel added. “Israel is regarded as bulwark of democracy which should be supported not only as an outpost of liberty in the explosive Middle East, but as an essential element in the maintenance of world peace,” he said.
Mr. Blaustein, AJC honorary president, said that meetings and talks with members of the Jewish communities in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Santiago and Lima revealed the heartening fact that the Jews in the four countries visited are being integrated and are making outstanding contributions to the spiritual, cultural, social and economic fields. “Their talents and skills are being devoted most effectively to the advancement of their countries,” he stated.
The delegation’s trip, the first ever made to South America by officers of the American Jewish Committee, had two main objectives.” Mr. Blaustein declared.” First, the establishment of closer collaboration between the Jewish communities of the United States and South America and the promotion of further opportunities for immigration for refugees. Second, the establishment of closer ties generally and the exchange of views for the purpose of improving understanding between North and South Americans.”
The delegation stated that it met with an encouraging response to all aspects of its goodwill mission. Meetings were held with national, state and local government officials, church dignitaries, U.S. and Israel ambassadors, diplomatic personnel, newspaper editors and publishers, lawyers, educators, welfare workers and cultural and social leaders in each country.
The delegation also included Dr. John Siawson, executive vice president of the Committee; Mrs. Jacob Blaustein, member of the administrative board; Julius H. Cohn, vice president and Mrs. Cohn, of Newark; Martin Gang, vice president, of Los Angeles, and Dr. Simon Segal, director of the Committee’s foreign affairs department.