LIMA, Peru (Dec. 21)
The celebration of Israel’s tenth anniversary in Peru ended today with a series of ten lectures at San Marcos University, the oldest on the American continent, delivered by Peruvian intellectuals who have visited Israel.
In the closing ceremony, Rector Leon Barandiaran, who is also president of the Israel-Peruvian Cultural institute, spoke on Israel’s cultural and moral role in the world, past, present and future. Prof. A. Beltry spoke on the legacy of Israel emanating from love of Israel. He stressed Israel’s great influence on Spanish culture.
Tuvia Arazi, Israel’s Ambassador to Peru, noted that in 1657, exactly 300 years before the establishment of the Israel Embassy in Lima, Leon Pinelo of Sephardic Jewish origin, became Rector of San Marcos University despite the strong pressure of the Inquisition to prevent his nomination on religious grounds.
Adding that the same pressure occurred 50 years later against the nomination to the same post of Pedro Peralta Barnuevo, also of Jewish origin, and again unsuccessfully, the envoy said that thus San Marcos University had proved its independence and dignity.
He said such exchanges of experiences between peoples, as were represented in the tenth anniversary celebrations, was the last word in true diplomatic diplomacy of the Twentieth Century whose aim is the betterment of living conditions and attainment of world peace. A notable book exhibition, entitled “People of the Book” was opened at the University and attracted great interest.