No Anti-semitism in Uruguay

There is no anti-Semitism in Uruguay, according to Yosef Yerosalimski, who edits a Jewish weekly in Spanish and runs a daily tow-hour Yiddish radio program in Montevideo. He said that unlike in neighboring Argentina, to call someone an anti-Semite in Uruguay is considered an insult. The authorities bend over backwards to avoid any taint of anti-Semitism, he said.

Addressing a luncheon meeting of the Jerusalem branch of the World Union of Jewish Journalists, Yerosalimski said that Jewish life in Uruguay has not been affected by the government’s swing to the right. He said that his country supports Israel, but along with many of Israel’s other friends in Latin America it is abstaining on United Nations votes concerning Israel.

Yerosalimski said Palestinian propaganda in Uruguay and throughout Latin America is highly effective, playing upon such traditional “Zionist” themes as exile, homeland and natural rights. He said he finds that the Israeli media presents a wholly negative picture of Israel and this image of Israel when depicted abroad might be one of the reasons for the fall-off in aliya from Latin America. He called on national figures and newsmen in Israel to try and reflect some of the more positive sides of Israeli life.

The Montevideo journalist cited the example of World Zionist Organization Treasurer Leon Dulzin as the type of Israeli visitor needed. He said Dulzin had gone back to the basics of Zionist ideology and endeavors in his talks in Uruguay. He said that when Dulzin appeared on his radio show he sounded so sincere and moving that even a non-Jewish technician at the station was moved to tears.

Yerosalimski said that Uruguay’s Jewish population of 45,000, almost all of whom live in Montevideo, has three Jewish dailies, one of which is a Yiddish Communist newspaper which is the only Communist paper that has not been shut down by the government.

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