Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard attended the presentation of the mural “Am Yisrael Chai” by Mexican artist Julio Carrasco Bretón at the Monte Sinai Cultural Center in Mexico City last night at the invitation of the Jewish community.
In his speech, Secretary Ebrard pointed out that the mural is:
“historic not only for its dimensions but for everything it represents.”
“It has a lot to do with the origin of Mexico, with the way we Mexicans express ourselves and a powerful pictorial current, muralist, that determines or defines Mexico’s contribution to the world.”
“It is not only that it is a monumental work, it is not only that it tells an extraordinary story that is the history of the Jewish people, four thousand years, but it also synthesizes the relationship between the people of Mexico, the Jewish-Mexican community and the people From Israel”.
“We are a country that prides itself on its deep tradition of receiving anyone who needs refuge,”
The 44-meter-long mural “Historical Image of the Origin and Creation of the State of Israel” whose final destination will be Tel Aviv, Israel, synthesizes the four thousand years of history of the people of Israel.
The event was attended by the Minister of Diaspora Affairs of Israel, Amichai Chikli; the mayor of Samaria, Yossi Dagan; the Israeli ambassador in Mexico, Zvi Tal; the president and founder of the Israel Latin American Network Foundation (ILAN), Isaac Assa Farca; the president of the Monte Sinai Community, Alberto Kichik; former half-track commander in the Israeli Armored Corps, Moshe Levy; the Mexican artist dedicated to mural painting, Julio Carrasco Bretón; and the Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, Martha Delgado Peralta.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard Full Speech:
Good evening, thank you very much for the invitation, dear, dear friends, I especially greet those who come from Israel, thank you very much for being here.
Minister, thank you for joining us.
Friends, friends of the different communities or the Jewish community, and endearing companions of many stories; I see many familiar faces of endearing people.
Briefly, I bring you a greeting from President López Obrador, his congratulations for this work, Isaac, is something beyond any expectation. It is really very difficult to describe what a mural with four thousand years of history means.
It has a lot to do with the origin of Mexico, with the way we Mexicans express ourselves, and a powerful pictorial current, muralist, that determines or defines Mexico’s contribution to the world.
So it’s not just that it’s a monumental work, it’s not just that it tells an extraordinary story, which is the history of the Jewish people, four thousand years, but it also synthesizes the relationship between the people of Mexico, the Mexican-Jewish community and the people of Israel.
Why do we understand each other? Well, Mexico is a country that has more or less 68 native ethnic groups today, with 68 languages. In this country you cannot stop being, you are diverse from the moment you are born, if you don’t understand it you don’t understand Mexico.
We have in our country communities coming from abroad, important at least 49; the majority, are linked to political, religious, or any kind of persecution. We are a country that prides itself on its deep tradition of welcoming anyone in need of shelter.
And when it was the turn of the Jewish community, our country opened the door, and here we are. Now we are part of the same community, how can we not understand each other? But Mexico is also a people that was persecuted for a long time, we have four invasions, not counting the Spanish one.
People were persecuted for what they believed, the first actions of the inquisition in Mexico were against people who were Jewish and also who were, or spoke Nahuatl, Otomi, Zapotec, Purépecha.
Still in the 19th century, they wanted to exterminate the Yaquis who survived with extraordinary tenacity, they had more than 10,000 deaths because they did not want to give up their land, their water and their religious ideas, their ideas… their worldview.
So, how is Mexico not going to understand or how are Mexico and the Jewish people not going to understand each other? It is what synthesizes this mural, I would say historical, not only because of its dimensions but because of everything it represents.
So today it is an honor for me to be with you, to tell you: we love you, we appreciate you and we understand you.
I’m not talking about history anymore, we have the risks today. It has already been said in this rostrum what risks there are.
For us in Mexico, well, how can we forget? Already as Secretary of Foreign Relations, the tragedy of 2019 in El Paso, Texas, that a guy entered a Walmart to kill Mexicans because we were invading his country -he made a manifesto that two million people saw- and he killed grandparents who were with their children, their grandchildren, to buy school supplies.
And the first community that supported us in the United States was the Jewish community, and I remembered what my great-uncle used to tell me when I was very little about why he went to war against the Nazis having been born in Coyoacán.
By? Why did they go? There were 28 Mexican women, Mexicans of different origins from their, let’s say closeness; because you couldn’t stay silent and do nothing against Nazism, because you couldn’t stay and stand aside or look the other way when these guys wanted to destroy many peoples, including Jews, just because of what they believed and they thought. You could not.
And when this tragedy occurred in El Paso, the first community that helped us in the United States with which we are working, was the Jewish community, how can we not understand each other? Of course, we understand each other and we are close every time we need each other.
So, thank you very much, Isaac, for this work, very moving, and speaks a lot about the past, but it speaks more about the future that we have together; and keep fighting and not turn a blind eye to brutality, totalitarianism, and any action against any people.
Let’s say “no” as we have always done, is what this mural says.
Thank you so much.
Sources: THX News & Gobierno de Mexico.