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South American Leaders Missing Historic Opportunity To Strike A Blow Against Suicide Terror At Historic Meeting With Arab Nations

Brasilia, May 10th, 2005

WIESENTHAL CENTER: SOUTH AMERICAN LEADERS MISSING HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY TO STRIKE A BLOW AGAINST SUICIDE TERROR AT HISTORIC MEETING WITH ARAB NATIONS

Against the backdrop of continuing suicide terror in Iraq and elsewhere, the Wiesenthal Center criticized the proposed language of the 'Declaration of Brasilia' due to be signed by South American and Arab Nations at their first-ever joint meeting currently underway in Brazil.

"We are dismayed by the failure of the 'Declaration of Brasilia' to explicitly condemn all suicide bombings," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the international Jewish Human Rights group which is pursuing a worldwide campaign to have all suicde terror declared a crime against humanity. "At a time of an unending spiral of suicide terror against innocent civilians in Iraq, the leaders of South American democracies in their first formal meeting with Arab leaders have missed a historic opportunity to demand that both sides jointly draw a red line against all suicide terror, whoever the perpetrator or victim, and whatever the cause it claims to represent. By including language legitimizing the right 'to resist foreign occupation', they encourage every insurgent in Iraq, every Al Qeada operative and every Hamas terrorist. The Wiesenthal Center is especially troubled by Argentina's failure to take a leading role in this issue, since its citizens have been murdered by international terrorists who have never been brought to justice. We can only hope that the final document will slam the door shut on these crimes against humanity."

In a related development, the Wiesenthal Center's Latin American representative, Sergio Widder who is observing the Conference in Brasilia released a letter to Brazil's Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, which charged that the declaration, "...Allegedly condemns terrorism, but at the same time it insists with the 'right to resist foreign occupation', a language used by terrorist groups to legitimize their actions. The ambiguity of the language gives the opportunity for these terrorist organizations to claim that the South American community has endorsed their actions".

"It is clear that Brazil will share the responsibility vis-a-vis any Arab terrorist attack in the future. The text of the declaration goes far beyond the rules of diplomacy and could ultimately support terror... We hope that the final text of the declaration will be corrected and the Summit will explicitly condemn all terror." The letter was signed by Mr. Widder and Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Wiesenthal Center's Director For International Liaison.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.

Sergio Widder is currently in Brasilia, and can be contacted at + 5561 8164-0134.


Centro Simon Wiesenthal
Maipú 853 - 4º - Buenos Aires - Argentina
Tel: (5411) 4313-4743 / Fax: (5411) 4313-3985
E-mail: cswlatin@satlink.com

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Para difusión inmediata

Brasilia, 10 de mayo de 2005

CUMBRE SUDAMERICA - PAÍSES ARABES: LA CONDENA AL TERRORISMO NO ADMITE MULTIPLES LECTURAS

El Centro Simon Wiesenthal condenó enérgicamente el aval dado por la Cumbre Sudamérica - Países Arabes a grupos terroristas. "Nos sentimos consternados debido a que la declaración de la Cumbre omite la condena explícita al terrorismo suicida. Frente a la espiral de terror contra civilies en Irak, los líderes de las democracias sudamericanas han perdido una oportunidad histórica en su primer encuentro con los líderes del mundo árabe y no han logrado que ambas partes, trabajando juntas, emitan una señal contra el terrorismo suicida, sin importar quién sea la víctima o el victimario, ni la causa que pretenda justificarlo", dijo el Rabino Abraham Cooper, Decano Adjunto del Centro Simon Wiesenthal.

En una carta dirigida a Celso Amorim (Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Brasil), Shimon Samuels (Director de Relaciones Internacionales del Centro Wiesenthal) y Sergio Widder (Representante para América Latina), manifestaron que el texto de la declaración "alega rechazar el terrorismo pero insiste con el 'derecho a resistir la ocupación extranjera', el justificativo que utilizan todos los grupos terroristas en su intento por legitimarse. La ambigüedad del lenguaje brindará una oportunidad para que esas organizaciones terroristas digan que la comunidad sudamericana les ha brindado su apoyo".

"Es evidente que Brasil compartirá la responsabilidad ante cualquier acto de terrorismo árabe en el futuro. El texto de la declaración excede las reglas de la diplomacia y constituye un aval pleno al terror", agregaron.

"La condena al terrorismo no admite múltiples lecturas. Nuestro Centro ha lanzado una campaña internacional para que el terrorismo suicida, un flagelo que azota a la sociedad democrática global, sea considerado como un crimen contra la humanidad. Es de esperar que el texto final de la Cumbre Sudamérica - Países Arabes sea revisado y que el terrorismo sea condenado sin atenuantes", concluyeron.

Sergio Widder se encuentra en Brasilia, y puede ser localizado en el número (5561) 8164-0134.

El Centro Simon Wiesenthal es una organización judía internacional de derechos humanos con más de 400.000 miembros en todo el mundo. Tiene status de ONG ante la ONU, la UNESCO, la OSCE y el Consejo de Europa.