web analytics
July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Argentina’

Argentinian Rabbi Wins Big in Midterm Congressional Primary Vote

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Argentina’s Rabbi Sergio Bergman won the midterm congressional primary elections, his first national test for a seat in the country’s Parliament.

Bergman, who currently serves as a Buenos Aires city lawmaker for the center-right PRO Party, was the candidate who received the most votes for the lower house of the National Parliament in Sunday’s poll, receiving 27.5 percent of the votes. He was followed by the Peronist candidate Juan Cabandie with 18.9 percent.

Though the election was a primary, there was no opposition within each party, so the referendum is a harbinger of the October 27 midterm elections. In Buenos Aires city, the PRO Party is one of the most prominent parties running against the national Peronist government lead by Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

The rabbi, a member of the Buenos Aires municipal Legislature, will lead the ticket for the center-right PRO Party in Argentina’s national elections as its candidate for the National Lower house. He is the first rabbi to lead a national ticket in Argentina.

Bergman, the senior rabbi of the traditional Congregacion Israelita Argentina, is the founder of Active Memory, a group that demonstrated every Monday for a decade seeking justice for the victims of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

Argentine Prosecutor: Iran Running Latin American Terrorist Networks

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Argentine State Prosecutor Alberto Nisman accused Iran on Wednesday of establishing terrorist networks in Latin America dating back to the 1980s and said he would send his findings to courts in the affected countries, Reuters reported.

Nisman presented a 500-page document, with evidence of Iran’s operation of an “intelligence and terrorist network” in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname.

Regarding the bombing of the AMIA (Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina) center in Buenos Aires, there are arrest warrants out for nine men, eight Iranians—including Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi and presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaie —and one, possibly, Lebanese.

Nisman said new evidence proves beyond reasonable doubt Mohsen Rabbani’s responsibility for the bombing, in his former role as the Iranian cultural attaché in Argentina, and “coordinator of the Iranian infiltration of South America, especially in Guyana.”

Argentina’s Congress this year approved a “truth commission” with Iran, to investigate the AMIA bombing. But many Argentine Jewish leaders feared the commission was only going to undermine the Nisman investigation.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has close ties with other Latin American leaders who are friends of Iran, such as Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, Reuters reports.

Jewish Leaders Praise New Pope

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Jewish leaders praised the new Pope Francis, Argentinean Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and expressed optimism for an improvement of Vatican-Jewish relations after he was elected Wednesday night to replace Pope Benedict XVI.

“We have every reason to be confident Pope Francis I will be a staunch defender of the historic Nostra Aetate, the declaration on the relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council, which forever changed the relationship of the Catholic Church and the Jewish people,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Bergoglio, 76, a Jesuit, was the choice of the College of Cardinals following two days of voting in Vatican City. He is the first pope to come from outside Europe in more than a millennium; reflecting the changing demographics of Catholics, he comes from Latin America.

Rabbi David Rosen, the director of interfaith affairs for the American Jewish Committee, told JTA that the new pope is a “warm and sweet and modest man” known in Buenos Aires for doing his own cooking and personally answering his phone.

As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio attended Rosh Hashanah services at the Bnei Tikva Slijot synagogue in September 2007.  Bergoglio told the congregation that he was there to examine his heart “like a pilgrim, together with you, my elder brothers,” according to the Catholic Zenit news agency.

After the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in 1994, he “showed solidarity with the Jewish community,” Rosen said.

In 2005, Bergoglio was the first public personality to sign a petition for justice in the AMIA bombing and was one of the signatories on a document called “85 victims, 85 signatures” as part of the bombing’s 11th anniversary. In June 2010, he visited the rebuilt AMIA building to talk with Jewish leaders.

Israel Singer, former head of the World Jewish Congress, said he spent time working with Bergoglio when the two were distributing aid to the poor in Buenos Aires in the early 2000s, part of a joint Jewish-Catholic program called Tzedaka.

“We went out to the barrios where Jews and Catholics were suffering together,” Singer told JTA. “If everyone sat in chairs with handles, he would sit in the one without. He was always looking to be more modest. He’s going to find it hard to wear all these uniforms.”

Bergoglio also wrote the forward of a book by Rabbi Sergio Bergman and referred to him as “one of my teachers.”

Last November, Bergoglio hosted a Kristallnacht memorial event at the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral with Rabbi Alejandro Avruj from the NCI-Emanuel World Masorti congregation.

He also has worked with the Latin American Jewish Congress and held meetings with Jewish youth who participate in its New Generations program.

“The Latin American Jewish Congress has had a close relationship with Jorge Bergoglio for several years,” Claudio Epelman, executive director of the Latin American Jewish Congress, told JTA. “We know his values and strengths. We have no doubt he will do a great job leading the Catholic Church.”

White Smoke, New Pope

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

The Vatican Cardinals have chosen a new pope. The winner is the former archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio (76).

Bergoglio has chosen the name Francis.

Argentinean Jewish FM Slams Israel over Iran Collaboration

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Argentinean Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman hit back at Israeli and Jewish criticism of a joint commission with Iran on the AMIA bombing on his first day of testimony to his country’s Congress.

The AMIA bombing was an attack on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA; Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) building. It occurred in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds. It was Argentina’s deadliest bombing ever.

Both houses of the Congress must approve the “truth commission” before it is made active, and Jewish groups were present at the Senate session Wednesday to make clear their opposition.

Timerman argued that the commission was the best avenue to get at the truth of the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires JCC, which killed 85 and injured hundreds.

Dealing with Iran was not “pleasant,” he said in his testimony, “but our goal is advancing the AMIA case. We want to know the truth about the attack.”

Also testifying was Julio Schlosser, the president of DAIA, a Jewish umbrella group, who likened the pact to dealing with Holocaust deniers.

“We reject the memorandum because our counterpart is not dependable,” he said.

Hostility towards the Jewish state is not a new thing to the Timerman family. Héctor Timerman’s late father Jacobo Timerman, Argentine publisher, journalist, and author, was persecuted by the Argentine military regime. After his release from prison in September, 1979, Timerman Sr. was forced into exile and found shelter and hospitality Israel. Then, a year after he published his renowned “Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number,” about his treatment at the hand of the Argentinean Generals, he released “The Longest War,” in which he dumped torrents of rage on his Israeli hosts following the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

Daniel Greenfield wrote earlier this week: “Héctor Timerman has proven to be every bit as cynical, dishonest and shameless as his father. The professional leftist victim has given birth to a professional leftist tyrant. And both father and son are filled with hatred and hostility for Jews and the Jewish State.”

Iran until now has resisted any cooperation with Argentina or international authorities in the bombing.

Timerman quoted Deuteronomy 16:20: “Justice, justice shall you pursue.”

The FM was especially scornful of Israeli criticism of the proposed pact. On January 31, Timerman summoned Ambassador Dorit Shavit for a “difficult, intense and unpleasant” meeting according to Ha’aretz. In the meeting, he “sharply criticized” Israel for interfering in Argentina’s affairs, telling the ambassador Israel’s interest in the bombing “encourages anti-Semitism” by implying Argentinean Jews have conflicting loyalties.

Argentina is home to a Jewish community of 200,000, among the largest in Latin America.

“Israel has no right to ask for explanations. We are a sovereign state,” Timerman said. “Israel does not speak for the Jewish people and isn’t their agent. Jews who wanted and want to live in Israel moved there and became citizens, and those who live in Argentina are Argentine citizens. The attack was against Argentina, and Israel’s desire to be involved in the matter only gives ammunition to anti-Semites who accuse Jews of dual loyalty.”

At his appearance before the Argentine Congress, Timerman said: “Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told me that we cannot sign an agreement with Iran. So maybe he wants us to kidnap the suspects or put a bomb below the car of one of them.”

Some JTA content was used in this report.

Jewish Boxing Champ Defends Her Title

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Carolina Raqucel Duer, a 33 year-old Jewish woman from Buenos Aires, Argentina, defended her World Boxing Organization Super Flyweight title on November 12 by defeating opponent Maria Jose Nunez of Uruguay.  Nunez foreited the match in the third round, after being knocked down by Duer’s left cross.

Duer, known as “The Turk”, is the daughter of Syrian-Jewish immigrants to Argentina.  As a child, she attended Jewish day school and Jewish after-school programs and camp, attended synagogue services and spent time in Israel working on a kibbutz.

The Fiction Of Palestine

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Whatever little remains of the so-called Middle East peace process suffered yet another body blow this month, as two of the largest countries in South America formally recognized an independent Palestinian state.
 
In a statement posted on its website on December 3, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry declared that the country had recognized “Palestine” based on the 1967 borders that existed prior to the Six-Day War.
 
Argentina quickly followed suit, announcing three days later that President Cristina Fernandez had sent a letter to this effect to Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
 
And so, just two months after the Palestinians stormed away from talks with Israel, refusing American pleas to return to the negotiating table, Buenos Aires and Brasilia have now decided to reward Ramallah’s intransigence with full-blown recognition of their national aspirations.
 
Ironically, both Brazil and Argentina seem to think that preempting the outcome of the process somehow brings peace closer. But precisely the opposite is true.
 
By reinforcing the Palestinian belief that the world is with them no matter what they do, this step serves merely to harden their positions and reduce their incentive to engage in dialogue with the Jewish state.
 
After all, if the Palestinians can get everything they want via international pressure, what reason would they possibly have to engage in give-and-take with Israel?
 
So while Brazil and Argentina may profess to be really interested in advancing peace, they have just taken a monumental step backward toward achieving that goal.
 
Needless to say, this development is also a major setback to these countries’ relations with the Jewish people, which weren’t all that great to begin with.
 
Both Brazil and Argentina served as welcoming safe havens for Nazi fugitives and other mass murderers, granting refuge to the likes of Josef Mengele and Adolf Eichmann for decades after World War II.
 
So it is perhaps not surprising that they would now choose to formally recognize the spurious claims of Israel’s foes.
 
To be fair, Brazil and Argentina are not alone in their folly. Some 104 countries have now recognized an independent Palestinian state, and other South American countries such as Uruguay are soon expected to join this dubious club.
 
But popularity does not trump truth, and that is what makes the decision to recognize “Palestine” so appalling, because it amounts to nothing less than an outright assault on reality.
 
Here is one simple fact that seems to have escaped the Brazilians, Argentinians and all those other nations out there: there is not, nor has there ever been in all of history, an independent state of Palestine.
 
“Palestine” is a fiction. It is a ruse, a con and a subterfuge, perhaps the greatest deception ever perpetrated since scam-artist George C. Parker began “selling” New York landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge to gullible chumps in the late 19th century.
 
Just take a look at the holy books of the world’s three greatest monotheistic religions: there is no mention of “Palestine” or “Palestinians” in the Torah, nor in the Christian New Testament, nor even in the Muslim Koran.
 
They all speak of Israel or Judea, not Palestine or Palestinians.
 
Even the name “Palestine” has nothing to do with Palestinians – it was invented by the Roman Emperor Hadrian to punish the Jews after the Bar-Kochba revolt against his rule. That was over 500 years before Islam was even founded.
 

To put it quite simply: there is no historical basis to the Palestinian claim to this land.

Just because the United Nations and the Arab states assert otherwise does not make it so.
 
So whether they realize it or not, Brazil and Argentina have just became the latest dupes to buy the Middle Eastern equivalent of the Brooklyn Bridge.
 
Consciously or not, they have taken the tall tale told by the Arabs at face value, and conferred legitimacy on a claim with no absolutely no basis whatsoever.
 
Now just imagine if the tables were turned and Israel decided to meddle in Argentinian affairs the way they have stuck their noses into ours.
 
Suppose that Jerusalem were to announce that it is formally recognizing the Falkland Islands, which Argentina fought a war over with England back in 1982, as being an integral part of the United Kingdom.
 
The islands, which Argentina refers to as the Malvinas, have been the subject of a dispute between the two countries since the early part of the 19th century.
 
So if Israel were to side with Britain on the status of the Falklands, how do you think Argentina would react? By denouncing the Jewish state, of course.
 
Does this scenario sound silly? Perhaps. But no more so than Buenos Aires’s recognition of a non-existent Palestinian state with imaginary borders.
 
Sure, Israel’s own government has exacerbated the problem by accepting the principle of a “two-state solution,” making it that much easier for nations around the world to take the next step and recognize “Palestine.”
 
But that in no way absolves the international community or lends any credence to its behavior.
 

For no matter how hard they might push to end the conflict by creating a Palestinian state, a peace based on falsehood is not, and never will be, a real peace.

 

 

Michael Freund is founder of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based organization that helps “lost Jews” return to Zion. His Jewish Press-exclusive column appears the third week of each month.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/the-fiction-of-palestine/2010/12/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: