NEW YORK (May. 27)
Ambassador Leopoldo Benitez Vinueza of Ecuador, President of the United Nations General, Assembly, was one of the speakers at a luncheon honoring his old friend and diplomatic colleague, Ambassador Jacob Tsur of Israel. Speaking at a gathering of some 40 diplomats and statesmen, among them 18 heads of delegations to the UN, Benitez Vinueza recalled the time he had served as ambassador to the Argentine and got to know Tsur, then representing Israel.
The Eduadorian diplomat spoke warmly of the “Israeli cause,” and praised the work of the Israeli-born Institute, sponsors of the luncheon, for its humanitarian work, which, he said, not only brings together Israel and Latin America, but also serves to bring the Latin American countries closer to each other.
The luncheon, chaired by Jose Maria Chavez, of Colombia, drew scholars and heads of the Latin American departments of a number of universities, and included Talpley Bennett, U.S. Representative to the UN, and the former president of Columbia University Dr. Grayson Kirk. Tsur, who is also world chairman of the Jewish National Fund, commented on the efforts of the Latin American countries on behalf of Israeli independence and self-determination, and expressed his appreciation for the friendship shown Israel – by the Latin American states and the public opinion of those countries.
The luncheon last Thursday came as preparations were being made for the meeting of the First Continental Conference of the Latin American Israeli Cultural Exchange, opening in Caracas, Venezuela on June 1, over which Tsur will preside. Intellectuals, statesmen, high ranking Catholic clergy and writers from all over Latin America will attend. There will also be a delegation from the Israeli-born American Institute in New York, which has been active in fostering cultural exchange for the last 15 years.