CHICAGO (Apr. 14)
Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari told an appreciative Jewish audience here last week that his country would gladly vote to reverse the resolution denigrating Zionism as a form of racism that Mexico supported in the U.N. General Assembly 16 years ago.
If a vote to rescind comes to the floor of the General Assembly, “Mexico will show it is a friend of the state of Israel,” Salinas declared at a reception given in his honor last Thursday night by the American Jewish Committee.
“We in Mexico have great respect for the State of Israel as a sovereign nation and a member of the international community,” Salinas said. “We have strong diplomatic ties that we value very much.”
Mexico supported the 1975 resolution. But in recent years, Salinas and other government officials have indicated privately their willingness to support attempts to repeal it.
Mexico is the latest of several Latin American countries to support the repeal effort. Last month, the General Assembly of Panama voted unanimously to call on the U.N. General Assembly to rescind the 1975 resolution.
Other Latin American nations to have called for repeal of the infamous resolution include Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, according to the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.
The Mexican chief of state is barnstorming the United States in favor of the proposed Free Trade Agreement treaty, which would allow the freer flow of investments and goods across the Mexican, United States and Canadian borders. Chicago. It was arranged in light of the Jewish organization’s activities in Mexico and its contacts with the Mexican Jewish community.
The president spoke fondly of Mexico’s Jews, stressing their contributions to the country’s commerce and culture.
Several Mexican Jewish leaders accompanied him at the reception, along with the Mexican ambassador to the United States, Gustavo Petriccioli.
Alfredo Achar, president of the Central Jewish Community of Mexico, said 50,000 Jews live in that country, 43,000 of them in Mexico City, the capital.
The country has four Orthodox and three Conservative congregations, and a Jewish sports center. There are 11 Jewish day schools, including two yeshivot and three which feature Yiddish programs in addition to modern Hebrew.