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American Jewish Committee Calls on Argentina for ‘vigorous Action’

The American Jewish Committee today urged the Argentine Government to take “vigorous, legal action” against the perpetrators of violent anti-Semitism which has recently broken out in Argentina.

In a letter to Roberto Alemann, Argentine Ambassador to the United States, A.M. Sonnabend, president of the AJC, warned that the situation in Argentina “has deteriorated” in the past four months, Mr. Sonnabend pointed out that the Committee has been concerned with the present situation for some time and, in 1961, met with then Minister Plenipotentiary Fransisco Bello on anti-Semitic manifestations in Argentina during the previous year.

In February 1962, AJC representations were made again to the Argentine envoy here, concerning disturbing incidents. In 1948, a mission of Committee leaders visited Buenos Aires and met with the Argentine President and leading government officials, on problems of harmonious intergroup relations.

At the same time, Mr. Sonnabend voiced high commendation for Argentina’s Interior Minister, Dr. Carlos Adrogue, for the latter’s strong denunciation of the anti-Semitic outbreaks in Argentina. Mr. Sonnabend said that the American Jewish Committee is looking forward to strong, practical measures against anti-Semitism, which will result from the firm stand taken by Dr. Adrogue,He expressed assurance that the Argentine Government will take the lead set forth by Dr. Adrogue in moving against those elements of the population which are “besmirching the reputation of Argentina by their wanton behavior. The Minister of the Interior will have the full support of democratic forces and opinion in his country and in all Western lands,” Mr. Sonnabend said.

Mr. Sonnabend reported that neo-fascist and terrorist organizations have been carrying out a widespread campaign of armed violence and vandalism against democratic and Jewish institutions, and against Jews, with “apparent immunity” from police action. The organizations, which are strongly anti-United States, appear to have the support of some Argentine army officers, he said. In many instances of violence, the police have not taken any overt action to apprehend the perpetrators, he charged.

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