Strengthening Bonds with Israel
Promoting cooperation among the U.S., Israel, Latin America, Spain, and Portugal
Through regular diplomatic encounters in Latin America, Spain, Portugal, Washington, D.C., and at the UN in New York, AJC’s Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs (BILLA) works to secure fair treatment for Israel in the international community. Our diplomatic efforts are bolstered by AJC Project Interchange trips, which have brought hundreds of U.S. Latino and Latin American opinion leaders to Israel, where they build crucial personal relationships with the Jewish state.
Governments and Diplomatic Corps
BILLA engages with government officials and diplomats from Spain, Portugal, and the countries of Latin America to strengthen their relationships with Israel. Some of these nations have strong ties to the Jewish state, including warm diplomatic relations, robust bilateral trade, and frequent cultural and civic exchanges. Some have relationships with Israel that are still developing, while others have no contact with Israel at all.
Historically, Latin America played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Jewish state, and most countries in the region have significant and growing bilateral ties with Israel. Nevertheless, they continue to cast anti-Israel votes at multilateral organizations such as the UN. AJC’s steadfast engagement aims to change this behavior by demonstrating that it runs counter to the foreign policy principles and self-interest of these countries.
BILLA cultivates strong relationships with Latino communities and leaders in the U.S. that foster support for Israel. Through AJC’s Latino-Jewish Leadership Council (LJLC), consisting of a group of prominent U.S. Jewish and Latino leaders, we advance issues of common concern, such as immigration reform, combating discrimination and bigotry, and foreign policy initiatives that benefit the U.S., Latin America, and Israel.