update deskAntisemitism

US officials warn of booming Jew-hatred in Latin America 

Aaron Keyak, U.S. deputy special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, called the rise a “tsunami.”

Organization of American States Building. Credit: David Byron Keener/Shutterstock.
Organization of American States Building. Credit: David Byron Keener/Shutterstock.

The Brazilian Israelite Confederation used to see one complaint of bigotry a day in October 2022 against the more than 100,000 Jews in South America’s largest nation. One year later, it reports receiving an average of 15 each day—an explosion of almost 1,000%.

Aaron Keyak, U.S. deputy special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, said the scourge “is on the rise in Latin America,” and following the Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel on Oct. 7, “what we’ve seen since is a tsunami.”

Fernando Lottenberg, commissioner to monitor and combat antisemitism for the Organization of American States, said that “the spike is real and that we’re seeing things that we have not seen before.”

He argued that Israel’s response to the human-rights atrocities perpetrated by Hamas operatives that day did not increase the level of hate because “antisemitism is already there and that an event like this makes them feel free to speak out.”

Kayak said the office of the envoy regarded any defense of Hamas’s violence as a concern, “whether there are government and civil society leaders who are justifying what are simply antisemitic attacks and murders.”

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