Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Israel to Expand Efforts to Strengthen Relationship With U.S. Hispanic Population

May 2, 2013 9:01 am 4 comments

Senator Marco Rubio. Photo: Gage Skidmore.

In a sign that the Hispanic community in the United States is becoming ever more influential, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also the country’s acting foreign minister, told Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Thursday that the country’s public relations outreach would make a more concerted effort to target the minority community, the Israeli newspaper Maariv reported.

The Foreign Ministry had already identified the U.S’s Hispanic community as an important new player in U.S. relations, with at least two Israeli consulates – Los Angeles and Miami – having employed local Spanish-speaking workers to strengthen the relationship with those cities’ respective Hispanic communities. But many of the various projects developed by the Foreign Ministry to work with the Hispanic community were stalled because of lack of funds.

In the past former Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon met several times with senior members of the Hispanic community, including members of Congress and local politicians.

“The United States is undergoing profound demographic changes, and it is important that Israel connect with the communities affecting the country’s character early in the process,”he said at the time. “Strengthening and preserving the relationship between Israel and the leaders of these communities guarantee the preservation of the strategic alliance with the U.S., which is vital to Israel’s security.”

There are approximately 52 million Hispanics living in the U.S., according to Maariv. They account for about 17 percent of the population. It is the second largest ethnic group in the country and is the fastest growing.

About 70 percent of Hispanic Americans voted for Barack Obama in the last election, though some of the most prominent Hispanic politicians sit on the other side of the aisle. These include Marco Rubio, a Florida Senator, who is considered a likely candidate for the next presidential election, and the governor  of New Mexico, Susana Martinez.

4 Comments

  • E.S.Lombard

    Inasmuch as among the very first settlers in the Western Hemisphere were large numbers of Jewish Iberians, it has been estimated that 35 millions in Central and South America are descendants from the victims of the Inquisition which, incidentally, was operative in Mexico until 1800, I believe. The first Brazilian slaves were Jews most of whom died raising crops on the equator.

  • Diane Besand

    Many Hispanics in the US are B’nai Anusim, descendents of Conversos, Jews who were forced to convert to Catholicism during the Spanish Inquisition. Those who were not tortured and killed, ran and even though pursued over centuries managed to escape to the Americas and some to Italy and then from Italy to US in subsequent generations. With the advent of the Internet and genealogy sites and other research groups, Anousim are discovering their Jewish roots. Those who have this ancestry may not be aware of it, but those who are aware find it extremely difficult when wishing to return to their Jewish roots and making aliya to Israel.

    Because our ancestors were once Jews they have retained many Jewish practices and traditions in their own families not realizing these were Jewish traditions. Unfortunately, because there is rarely any documentation that is needed for proof of Jewishness as required in Israel,the next step if serious is of course conversion. Even then it is difficult, frustrating and indeed painful because we are not welcomed and looked upon with suspicion by Israeli officials. Many give up their dream to make aliya to Israel and stay in America.

    It is indeed important that Israel strengthen it’s ties with the Hispanic community in America, but there is also a large group of B’nai(chidren of) Anousim in America, both Hispanic and Italian Americans who are descended from Anousim who want to and have come home to Judaism and want to come home to Israel as well. If we were accepted as Jews having converted within guidelines set forth by the State of Israel, these Hispanic/Italian American Jews would have dual citizenship and even further deepen and strengthen the ties with their ancestral home Israel. This would be of benefit to both countries.

  • That’s excellent, but Israel needs to also focus on the Asian population. Most of the pro-Israeli rallies I’ve gone to have had Hindu supporters in them. But the Chinese-American population is growing very fast, as is the Korean-American.

  • Israelis will be surprised to discover the huge numbers of Hispanics who are evangelical and fundamentalist bible believers who believe they are descendants of Jews. They have a great love for Israel and have become increasingly involved in the Jewish Messianic Movement.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Huffington Post Accused of ‘Jew-Hatred’ After Tweeting ‘Offensive’ Joke About Comedian at Video Music Awards

    Huffington Post Accused of ‘Jew-Hatred’ After Tweeting ‘Offensive’ Joke About Comedian at Video Music Awards

    The Huffington Post is facing backlash after joking about a Jewish comedian’s  appearance at the Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Sunday night. Josh “The Fat Jew” Ostrovsky took part in Nick Jonas’ performance of his song “Bacon,” staged in a New York diner — in a cameo role as a waiter throwing a handful of bacon in the air. Commenting on the show, the Huffington Post tweeted, “not thrilled at the fat jew [he] wasted all that perfectly good bacon!!!!!!” The message angered many Twitter users, who thought the joke […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israeli Fans Mob, Dance With Basketball Player Amar’e Stoudemire at First Jerusalem Team Practice (VIDEO)

    Israeli Fans Mob, Dance With Basketball Player Amar’e Stoudemire at First Jerusalem Team Practice (VIDEO)

    Israeli basketball fans mobbed Hapoel Jerusalem’s newest player, American pro Amar’e Stoudemire, dancing around with him during a practice open to the public. On Friday, the team posted a video on Twitter of the happy romp with fans jumping around Stoudemire, while chanting in Hebrew. Unfamiliar with the lyrics, Stoudemire pumps his fist in the air. The basketball player, who has Jewish roots on his mother’s side, also waved a flag emblazoned with Hapoel Jerusalem’s logo. The former New York Knicks forward retired from the NBA earlier […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Playboy Columnist Calls Israel’s ‘Burning Man’ Festival ‘Ultimate Revenge on Hitler’

    Playboy Columnist Calls Israel’s ‘Burning Man’ Festival ‘Ultimate Revenge on Hitler’

    The Israeli version of the famed American Burning Man music festival is the “ultimate revenge on Hitler,” according to a column in Playboy magazine on Thursday. In his column, Jeff Weiss also took note of the fact that Midburn — a five-day bacchanal in the Negev Desert, self-described as an event celebrating “a communal life style, creativity, art and radical self-expression” — began on June 8, the day of the Sarona Market terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, which left four people dead. Weiss asked rhetorically, “What could needle the mustached […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Some punk rockers integrate their Jewish identity into their music through food, the author of a new book on the topic told The Algemeiner on Wednesday. Michael Croland, author of Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, described the way different musicians express this connection. “One band is known for throwing gefilte fish in the mosh pit, and people at its concert slide around on it while dancing,” he recounted. “Another used to drink Manischewitz [sweet kosher] wine out of a shofar [the ram […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    The manager of Scotland’s Celtic soccer club lauded Israel, after his team won a match against the Jewish state’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Tuesday night. Brendan Rodgers said at a post-match press conference: On behalf of the players, the people of Celtic and Scotland, Israel’s been fantastic for us. We came out here on Sunday, [and from] the hotel, the staff, we’ve been very, very warmly received. The atmosphere at the game was amazing and, obviously, one team has to lose, but you have a wonderful team here, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    For the second time, Israel will host the Jaffa Jazz Festival, according to Broadwayworld.com. The festival will unite 43 Israeli musicians and eight international artists for a three-day event. The program will include a special performance by an ensemble of top jazz students studying at Belgium’s Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, the Belgrade Music Academy in Serbia, Israel’s Rimon School of Music and the jazz program of the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv. There will also be a jazz show for children led by Israeli saxophonist […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    JNS.org – As a young boy growing up in Ashdod, Israel, Alon Day got his first go-kart at age 9. By 15, he was racing them. Less than a decade later, Day has become the first Israeli professional race car driver on the NASCAR circuit. He made history by competing in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 13. “Driving a race car is not like any other sport,” Day told JNS.org. “You are actually almost flying […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    The writer of a popular children’s television series will premiere an off-Broadway solo show called “Not That Jewish,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Written and performed by Monica Piper — the Emmy Award-winning showrunner of Nickelodeon’s “Rugrats” — the show is described as “the autobiographical telling of a Jew…’ish’ girl’s life.” “Not That Jewish” explores Piper’s Bronx upbringing in a show-business family, her comedy-club debut and her “almost” night with former Yankees legend Mickey Mantle. “Audiences can expect to leave laughed-out, a little teary-eyed and […]

    Read more →