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ISRAEL TURNS 75

Guatemalan foreign minister pledges country will be Israel’s best Latin American ally

Pro-Israel activist receives honorary doctorate in recognition of his work in faith-based diplomacy.

From left: Guatemalan Deputy Anibal Samayoa; IAF Latin America director Leopoldo Martínez; Ambassador of Israel in Guatemala Yiftah Curiel; Israel Allies Caucus president in Guatemala Deputy Fidel Reyes Lee; executive director of the Jewish Community of Guatemala Ilan Lopez; and deputy Jorge Castro. Credit: Courtesy.
From left: Guatemalan Deputy Anibal Samayoa; IAF Latin America director Leopoldo Martínez; Ambassador of Israel in Guatemala Yiftah Curiel; Israel Allies Caucus president in Guatemala Deputy Fidel Reyes Lee; executive director of the Jewish Community of Guatemala Ilan Lopez; and deputy Jorge Castro. Credit: Courtesy.

Guatemala will continue to be Israel’s strongest ally in Latin America, Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs Mario Bucaro said, in the latest sign of the success of faith-based diplomacy.

The pledge came as the Guatemalan parliament celebrates its historic relations with Israel this week, marking Israel’s 75th anniversary ahead of upcoming national elections next month.

“We are very excited to open the week of celebrations for Israel’s 75th anniversary,” Bucaro told dozens of dignitaries and guests gathered at a parliamentary event. “Guatemala will continue to be Israel’s best ally in Latin America.”

Guatemala’s friendship with Israel dates back to the vote by the United Nations to create a Jewish state in 1947. Guatemala then became the first country in Latin America to recognize the newly-founded Israel. It was also the second country in the world to move its embassy to Jerusalem after the United States did so in 2018.

The parliamentary event, which was held in conjunction with the Guatemalan Israel Allies Caucus, comes at a time of burgeoning relations between Israel and evangelical Christian supporters around the world.

The leaders of Guatemala are evangelical Christians and have repeatedly cited their faith, as well as their nation’s history, as a central pillar of their deep friendship with the Jewish people.

“We will continue working, hand in hand with our national and international allies, to keep Guatemala as the pro-Israel capital of the world,” said Ilan López, executive director of the Jewish Community of Guatemala.

Leopoldo Martinez, Latin America director at the Israel Allies Foundation, said: “We are honored to be joining the Congress of Guatemala to celebrate Israel’s 75th anniversary and are proud to be part of this wonderful story of historic friendship and deep bonds between the two countries.”

During the upcoming week, expressions of Guatemalan friendship with Israel will include the bestowal of an honorary doctorate Thursday on the president of the Israel Allies Foundation, Josh Reinstein, by the Rural University of Guatemala for his work in faith-based diplomacy for Israel around the world.

“It is a true honor to receive this honorary doctorate highlighting the importance of faith-based diplomacy in support for Israel,” he said. “Academic leaders are now joining faith and political leaders around the world in recognizing that supporting Israel is not just biblically and politically correct but also ethically correct.”

Mobilizing support for Israel worldwide through faith-based diplomacy, the Israel Allies Foundation has emerged as a powerhouse with a network of more than 50 pro-Israel caucuses around the world.

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