Evangelicals join Argentinian Jewry in support of Israel

BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — The organized Evangelical Christian community in Argentina will join the Jewish community in a rally in support of Israel.

It is the first time that an Evangelical clergy member will address a rally organized by the Jewish community in the South American country.

The rally will take place on Thursday in front of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires under the banner “in solidarity with Israel and for peace.”

Evangelical minister Jorge Gomez, vice president of the Christian Alliance of Evangelical Churches of Argentina, will be one of the three speakers, alongside a representative of the Jewish youth and the Israeli Ambassador to Buenos Aires Dorit Shavit.

The major organizations of Argentina’s Jewish community  –  religious, social and political – planned the rally in the Argentinean capital in response to the recent wave of Palestinian and Arab violence against Israelis in Jerusalem and throughout Israel.

The rally was planned despite worries related to local security issues. In 2012 violent groups vandalized the Israeli embassy, and in 2013, pro-Palestinian groups held an anti-Israel demonstration outside a Buenos Aires theater during a charity concert by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Two other South American countries are demonstrating about the current violence in Israel: a pro-Israel rally in Uruguay and an anti-Israel rally in Chile.

Facing anonymous calls to violence at the planned anti-Israel demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy in Santiago de Chile, the Simon Wiesental Center urged the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, to ban the rally scheduled for Friday as a danger to public order.

Ariel Gelblum, the center’s Latin American Representative, called on Chile’s government to “take all necessary measures to maintain social peace and harmony.”

Chile has the largest Palestinian population outside Middle East, including a Palestine soccer club.  At least 300,000 Chileans are of Palestinian descent, according to reports.

About 1,000 demonstrators participated in a peaceful rally in support of Israel in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo. The Uruguayan daily newspaper El Observador described the rally, sponsored by the Israelite Central Committee, as a “legitimate defense of the Israeli people.”

“We feel a moral duty to speak in support of the State of Israel during this wave of violence,” said Oscar Sapolinski, president of the Youth Zionist Federation of Uruguay during the Oct. 23 rally.


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