The Communist Party in the Uruguayan coastal city of Punta del Este agreed to a request by the local Jewish community to remove a mural on a city building accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza.
Jewish community leaders met met last week with party leaders at the city’s municipal building to discuss the mural painted on the side of a building on a main thoroughfare. The Jewish leaders presented the community’s view about the Israel-Gaza conflict and the implication of the graffiti, and the Communist leaders decided to remove the graffiti.
“STOP: No to the genocide in Gaza,” the mural reads in Spanish. “400 children” also was painted on the wall, which was signed by “Red Ant.”
By August 21, the wall featured new graffiti related to local political candidates without any mention of Israel.
The Communist Party delegation was led by Uruguayan lawmaker Heber Nunez. The group from the Jewish umbrella organization CIPEMU was led by President Rolando Rozenblum and Executive Director Fabian Schamis.
CIPEMU leaders underlined the “excellent atmosphere of dialogue, exchanges of views and comprehension” which resulted in the removal of the graffiti. Both sides also agreed to establish open channels of dialogue in order to prevent future tensions.
The local Youth of the Communist Party organization expressed disappointment with the decision to erase the anti-Israeli mural.
The Jewish presence in Punta del Este has grown dramatically in recent years. The city, which has a year-round population of just over 9,000, has four synagogues.
Estimates of the Jewish influx into Uruguay during the summer range from 25,000 to 50,000 in a country with a population of 3.3 million, including approximately 17,000 Jews.