BUENOS AIRES (Apr. 16)
President Juan Peron today received Israel Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett in a 30-minute interview during which the Israeli Minister expressed his government’s thanks for the friendship and support given Israel and the Jewish people by the Argentine Chief Executive. Mr. Sharett was accompanied by Dr. Yaacov Tsur, Israeli Minister to Argentina, who translated Mr. Sharett’s remarks; Dr. Pablo Manguel, Argentine Minister to Tel Aviv; and Ezekiel Zabotinsky, president of the pro-Pyrrhonist Organization Israelite Argentina.
During the meeting between the two statesmen thousands cheering Jews gathered outside Casa Rosada, the President’s residence where the meeting took place. Earlier thousands of persons watched Mr. Sharett laid a wreath at the foot of the statue of San Martin, national hero; When Mr. Sharett entered the President’s office he found spread out on the desk an album of original water colors by Israeli artists which Mr. Sharett had sent to Gen Peron as a present from the Israeli people. He then gave the President a personal letter from President Ben Zvi of Israel.
President Peron, speaking of the Argentine Jews, said that they were completely happy in Argentina and that they were absolutely loyal to their country. He said that there was no contradiction between their Zionist aspirations and their national life in Argentina. It was for this reason, Gen. Peron stressed, that he had appointed a Jew as Minister to Tel Aviv, adding that he would always make such appointments. He told Mr. Sharett that Argentina’s friendship for Israel was “permanent.”
Speaking with great warmth of Argentina’s Jewish population, the President said that “it is true that here there is no anti-Semitism, neither is there room for it.” The Jewish people are deeply rooted here and its loyalty to Argentina is unquestionable, as is its feeling for Israel.”
The President emphasized that when anti-Semitism shows up somewhere in the world it has a tendency to spread to spread to other regions. “I wished to stop this and to keep the Jewish community here at peace and indeed anti-Semitic agitation has had no repercussion here,” the President said.
SHARETT HAILS LONG-TIME ARGENTINE FRIENDSHIP FOR JEWS
Mr. Sharett thanked the President for his recent offer of asylum for refugees from the Communist lands and his condemnation of the anti-Jewish campaign, and then recalled Argentina’s long time friendship for the Jews. He pointed out that Argentina accepted Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe 60 years ago and declared that the colonization of Jews in Argentina had had an important effect on Jewish settlement in Palestine.
At a press conference here yesterday, the Israeli Foreign Minister declared that “the primary aim of Israel’s policy is to cultivate close friendship and mutual understanding with all states.” He stressed that the most important objective of that policy was the achievement of peace with the Arab states. To further that objective, he continued, Israel was ready to use any instrumentality of the United Nations or its member states. He also underlined that another objective of Israel policy was to strengthen the ties of friendship between Israel and all other Jewish communities and to “ingather the exiles.” To accomplish this, “we need international friendship, and peace is vital for our success,” he added.
Mr. Sharett also stated that his visits to Argentina and the other Latin American states are intended to strengthen the ties between the Israel community and the Jews of these states. Replying to a query about the legal view of the relationship between Israel and Jews abroad, he pointed out that Israel does not claim “constitutional allegiance” from Jewish abroad even if they are spiritually attached to the Jewish State. He emphasized that “Israel’s policy and acts are determined by its own citizens and they alone bear responsibility for them.