Uruguay to Act Against Anti-semitism

The government of Uruguay has indicated in recent days its determination to apprehend those responsible for a rash of anti-Semitic incidents in Montevideo, according to the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. Rabbi Morton M. Rosenthal, ADL’s Latin American Affairs director, pointed to a widely-published statement by Gen. Hugo Linares Brum, the Interior Minister and the nation’s top police official, as one such indication.

Linares, in reports appearing in all of Uruguay’s major daily papers, said, “We are dedicated to locating the perpetrators and those responsible for these attacks which harm the community.” Rosenthal said another indication was an editorial in “El Pais,” which often reflects the government’s viewpoint, repudiating the attacks on a synagogue and cemetery and calling for a thorough investigation.

These assurances followed closely those made to the League earlier this month by Uruguay’s Ambassador to the U.S. who stated, “The government and the people of Uruguay categorically repudiate the actions committed against institutions belonging to the Jewish community of Uruguay.”

The statements were in response to the second rash of anti-Jewish incidents in six months to occur in Uruguay. Only hours after congregants had concluded Yom Kippur services, one of the largest synagogues was rocked by a powerful explosion. Three days later and following condemnation by Jewish community leaders, anti-Semitic slogans and swastikas were found scrawled in a Jewish cemetery. Subsequently, numerous copies of anti-Semitic leaflets surfaced in the heart of Montevideo, signed by an unknown “anti-Jewish committee” and calling for the “eradication” of Jews from the “Fatherland.”

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