Photo Credit: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90
Argentinian President Javier Milei at the Kotel, February 6, 2024.

On the first full day of his first trip to Israel, Argentina’s President Javier Milei visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center in Jerusalem, accompanied by native Argentinian Chairman of Yad Vashem Dani Dayan.


On Thursday night, the final day of his three-day visit, Milei visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem, becoming the first South American head of state to do so since the start of the October 7th war launched against Israel by Gaza’s Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist organization.

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“When I look at the dark images of the Holocaust I wonder where the free world was back then, and today I ask myself again exactly the same question: Where is the voice of the free world demanding the release of the more than 100 hostages who were kidnapped and remain in captivity after more than 100 days?” Milei said in remarks delivered at Yad Vashem with Dayan by his side.

“We must not remain silent in the face of the monstrous reappearance of Nazism in a similar way. We cannot remain silent in the face of modern Nazism today, disguised as the terrorist group Hamas,” Milei emphasized.

“As president of Argentina I reaffirm my unconditional commitment to a society based on freedom and human dignity, and I reaffirm my request for the liberation of the kidnapped hostages,” he said. “Jerusalem is the symbol and banner of life and freedom. We choose life. We choose western Jerusalem as the base of our embassy.”

The Argentine president toured the Holocaust History Museum and the Hall of Names, after which he participated in a solemn memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, and signed the Yad Vashem guestbook outside the Hall of Remembrance.

Milei wrote in the Yad Vashem guestbook: “In this symbolic and transcendent place, where darkness reaches unimaginable extremes of cruelty, it is precisely here that we can see the greatness of a people, the greatness of going through the pain and rising up again even stronger than before. We all bear the duty not to remain silent. Never again is now.”

At the conclusion of the visit, Dayan noted the Milei’s visit was “especially pertinent” because there have been Latin American leaders who “have used in the last months rhetoric with clear antisemitic tones, including Holocaust trivialization.

“For the President of Argentina to visit Israel and Yad Vashem and commit so clearly to uphold the values and lessons of the Holocaust, is extremely important,” Dayan said. “Yad Vashem continues to work closely with the educational authorities in the Argentine Republic in order to increase Holocaust awareness and education for the Argentine people and the Spanish-speaking world.”

Milei has appointed his personal Rabbi, Shimon Axel Wahnish, to be his country’s new Ambassador to Israel. During his visit he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog, and Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, attended a tree planting ceremony in his honor at the Grove of Nations in Jerusalem and traveled south the tour Kibbutz Nir Oz.

The kibbutz was one of 22 Israeli communities and several military bases in which Hamas-led terrorists tortured and slaughtered more than 1,200 people, most of them civilians, in addition to abducting 253 others, dragging them into Gaza as hostages. Israel has since managed to free more than 110 of those hostages, but 136 remain, including those who are no longer alive.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.