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Anti-semitic Agitation by “clandestine Nazis” in Ecuador Assailed by Prominent Journalist

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A sharp attack on the increased anti-Semitic agitation in this country has been made in the well known Guayaquil newspaper “El Universo,” by Leopoldo Benitez, prominent columnist and a representative of journalists in the last National Assembly. He charges that “clandestine Nazi agitators” are spreading the anti-Jewish propeganda.

Reviewing the recent demand by the Quito chamber of commerce that all Jewish shops be closed and a collective fine of $150,000 be levelled upon the Jewish community because of the bankruptcy of a Jewish businessman, Benitez says that “an individual case of evil cannot serve as a basis for inhuman propaganda of a strongly fascist nature, “Aryan” Germans have also swindled people and committed crimes, as have people of all nationalities. But no one has ever demanded that action be taken against all Germans, all Frenchmen, all Colombians, for instance.”

Discussing the question of immigration, which he says has been connected with anti-Semitism by certain groups, he points out that the immigrants who came to Ecuador did not come of their own choosing, but because their lives were endangered. The accusation that Jewish immigrants have not fulfilled their obligation to perform agricultural work, but have entered commerce, is not valid, Benitez, says, because under present conditions it is extremely difficult to engage in agricultural pursuits in Ecuador with any prospects of personal security. The solution to this problem, he continues, is not persecution of Jewish immigrants, but a sound policy of colonization.

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