WASHINGTON, June 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Latino Jewish Congressional Caucus was relaunched at an American Jewish Committee (AJC) Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs event on Capitol Hill.
"The bipartisan caucus is still going strong," said Dina Siegel Vann, Director of AJC's Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs. "We look forward to working closely with the co-chairs and other caucus members to strengthen Latino-Jewish bonds of friendship, particularly at a time when antisemitism and other forms of hate are on the rise in the U.S. and around the world."
Co-chaired by Representatives Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), and Jaime Herrera Buetler (R-WA), the caucus convened a bipartisan group of members of Congress to meet with Sergio Massa, Speaker of the House of Argentina's Chamber of Deputies. The conversation focused on U.S.-Argentina relations, Argentina-Israel relations, antisemitism in the country since Argentina adopted last year the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, and terrorism in the country following Argentina's designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in 2019.
"As my colleagues and I relaunch the Latino Jewish Caucus in the 117th Congress, we are working with our Latin American partners to confront and condemn the growing threat of antisemitism in our hemisphere. Together, we must stand firm against bigotry and hatred in all its forms, said Rep. Diaz-Balart.
"I am excited to return as a co-chair of the Congressional Latino-Jewish Caucus and join with the AJC, my fellow co-chairs, and our caucus members to work on areas of mutual interest," said Rep. Espaillat. "Jewish and Latino communities have lived side by side for generations, from Buenos Aires, Argentina all the way to Washington Heights and across my district. In New York, our communities have often joined together to improve the neighborhoods in which we live, and it is this spirit of collaboration that makes me hopeful for growing coalitions on issues that affect each of us, from immigration to civil rights to education. Our communities have much in common, and we must continue to build bridges and uplift our shared voices."
"I am thrilled to relaunch the Latino Jewish Caucus in the 117th Congress. This Caucus is a vital forum for promoting the shared values between our two communities and combatting hate and antisemitism whenever or wherever it rears its ugly head," said Rep. Wasserman-Schultz. "I look forward to our continued work this Congress and commend our partner AJC for their longstanding commitment to building bridges between the Latino and Jewish communities at home and across the globe."
"I'm honored to help re-launch the Latino Jewish Caucus in Congress where we focus on supporting Jewish and Latino communities in America and around the world," said Rep. Beutler. "With recent attacks on the nation of Israel and a rise in antisemitism rhetoric, we must work to support our greatest ally in the Middle East, as well as condemn all forms of bigotry. I look forward to working with my caucus co-chairs on these common goals, as well as helping promote policies that uplift and benefit these communities and our nation."
Founded in 2011, the bipartisan Latino Jewish Congressional Caucus promotes cooperative engagement between Latinos and Jews in the U.S. Congress on domestic and foreign policy issues. The Caucus has weighed in on immigration reform, the search for truth and justice in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Argentina, and global antisemitism.
In the 117th Congress, the Caucus will continue its critical work fostering close collaboration between the U.S. Latino and Jewish communities, fighting the uptick in antisemitism and other forms of hate, and strengthening trilateral ties among the U.S., Latin America and Israel based on shared histories, values, and interests.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee