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State Department Keeps Watchful Eye on Anti-jewish Events in Argentina

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The State Department has been studying Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports on the anti-Jewish incidents in Argentina, as well as information supplied by American Jewish groups, in addition to official reports from the United States Embassy in Buenos Aires, and is watching the developments there, official sources indicated today.

At the same time, Edwin M. Martin, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, said today that the State Department was exerting its influence against South American anti-Semitism, and gave assurance “that as suitable occasions arise, we and our officers in Buenos Aires are prepared to discuss informally with members of the Argentine Government the concern of all decent men whenever minority groups are subjected to unlawful acts.” He made this statement in a communication to Rep. Leonard Farbstein, New York Republican.

“The Department of State, with the assistance of our Embassy at Buenos Aires, has for a period of two years been following closely the manifestations of anti-Semitism in Argentina,” he stated. “On the basis of the information available to us, it seems that most, if not all, of the anti-Semitic activities are attributable to small, largely covert and somewhat amorphous groups which appear to be ultra-nationalist in nature and to have chosen anti-Semitism as one vehicle for the expression of their personal and social dissatisfactions.”

Declaring that the U.S. Embassy advised the State Department that “the Argentine populace seems genuinely horrified by the recent violent acts, and deplores the activities of those responsible.” Mr. Martin revealed that “officers of the Embassy were apprised some time ago of the importance of the evidence of anti-Semitism in Argentina, and were instructed to make use of suitable opportunities to point out to responsible Argentines the unfavorable world reaction to be expected from pronounced anti-Semitic activities.”

“Since no American citizens have been involved, the Ambassador was not in a position to make formal representations to the Government of Argentina,” Mr. Martin pointed out.” However, he reports subsequent conversations with officials of the Government who recognized that the activities of the anti-Semitic groups do not accrue to the credit of the nation, and expressed the intent of the Government to cope vigorously with the outbreaks.” Mr. Martin added.

Mr. Martin felt Argentine authorities “are fully aware of the need to take firm measures in the present circumstances.”

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