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Ajcommittee Hails Statement by Mexican President Confirming Constructive Role of Mexico’s Jews

The American Jewish Committee has cabled President Miguel de la Madrid of Mexico its expression of “warm greetings” for his statement last Wednesday confirming “the full and equal citizenship of Mexican Jewry and their constructive role in strengthening Mexico’s economy and society.”

The cable, sent by Gordon Zacks, chairman of the AJC’s International Relations Commission, and Dr. Marc Tanenbaum, director of AJC’s International Relations Department, declared that “we view your positive appreciation of the role of Mexican Jewry as a rejection of the offensive anti-Semitic statements made recently by Deputy Miguel Angel Olea Enriquez as not being representative of the convictions of the Mexican government and people.”

On December 1, during a debate in the Mexican House of Representatives, Enriquez singled out Mexican Jews as “experts in speculation” and tax-evaders, suggesting that they are among “Mexican traitors, shameless people, and profiteers.” On December 21, de la Madrid held a meeting with seven Jewish leaders, among them Sergio Nudelstejer, director of the AJC’s Mexican and Central American office.

According to a telephoned message from Nudelstejer to AJC’s national office in New York, the Mexican President “spoke warmly and with feeling of his admiration and appreciation of the constructive role of the Mexican Jewish community in helping Mexico cope with serious economic and social difficulties. He said that Mexican Jews are an important and valued part of Mexican society, and he thanked them for their productive contributions to its welfare. He then asked the Jewish delegation to convey his best regards to each member of the Jewish community of Mexico. President de la Madrid said that Mexican Jews are full and equal citizens of our country.”

Members of the Jewish delegation represented Friends of Hebrew University, who invited him to address their international banquet in Mexico City in October 1984. President de la Madrid accepted the invitation, which was taken as a conscious sign of friendship for Mexican Jewry.

WARM WORDS FOR ISRAEL

During the conversation, the Mexican President spoke warmly of Israel’s great contribution in agriculture, water reclamation, and land reform, and expressed his hope of closer collaboration between Mexico and Israel in these and related areas.

Prior to that meeting, Nudelstejer reported, the Mexican government’s chief of press informed the Jewish delegation that de la Madrid was determined to stop the anti-Jewish recrimination of Enriquez, and he chose the occasion of this meeting to make clear “that he did not want this libelous attack to go any further.”

In their cable to the Mexican President, Zacks and Tanenbaum also welcomed his “acknowledgement of the positive ties between Mexico and Israel in the area of economic development and technical assistance which can only benefit both countries.” On January 19, a delegation of AJC leaders will visit Mexico and will meet with government leaders and the Mexican Jewish leadership.

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