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Bibi Makes History in Latin America

Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu in Argentina, September 13, 2017 (Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO)

In this week's Daily Dispatches, we've told you about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's historic trip to Latin America. Writing at Israel Hayom, Arie Kacowicz says the trip is not just historic, but a blessing, as Israel forges new political, economic, and security bonds:

On Monday in Buenos Aires, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began what has been dubbed a "historic" trip to three Latin American countries: Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. In Argentina, he will take part in two ceremonies in memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks there, one at the Israeli Embassy in 1992 and another at the AMIA Jewish community center in 1994, both widely attributed to Iran and Hezbollah...

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Argentina includes meetings with the Jewish community, the largest in Latin America, numbering 230,000, as well as signing agreements for defense, national security and the use of archives for Holocaust remembrance.

In Colombia, he will meet with the country's President Juan Manuel Santos for a few hours. Colombia is very close to Israel, and not only in defense coordination and diplomacy – it is also the only country in South America that does not recognize the so-called "State of Palestine" and that abstained from voting to upgrade the status of the Palestinians in the U.N.

The last stop of the trip will be in Mexico, the second most important country in North America. Israel and Mexico share a wide range of economic connections, amounting to some $700 million in yearly commerce...

Why has no Israeli president visited Latin America to this day? Even though relations between Israel and most Latin American countries have been characterized by stability and mutual empathy, and despite the fact that these countries played a deciding role in approving the Partition Plan in 1947 that paved the way for the establishment of Israel, the region has not been a strategic and economic focal point for Israel's foreign policy, which concentrated instead on North America and Europe. In recent years, there has been a trend in Israeli diplomacy to expand the circle of relationships, and Netanyahu accordingly visited and is visiting countries that no Israeli prime minister stepped in before (in Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia and now Latin America)...

Tags: Netanyahu , Latin America

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