U.S. Does Not Believe Anti-semitism is Official Argentine Gov’t Policy

The State Department said it did not believe that anti-Semitism was an official policy of the government of Argentina. “It is our belief that anti-Semitism is not the policy of the President of Argentina (Jorge Rafael Videla) or his government,” a Department spokesman told newsmen Friday.

The spokesman’s comments came in response to questions about the anti-Semitic and anti-American threats against the representative of the American Jewish Committee in Buenos Aires, Jacobo Kovadloff, and his family. The AJCommittee announced in New York last Thursday that it was closing its Buenos Aires office after 29 years because of the threats.

Kovadloff met in Washington Thursday with the Argentine Ambassador, according to the spokesman, which he said reflects the “serious concern” of the Argentine government about the incident. “The American Charge d’affaires in Buenos Aires has brought the problem to the attention of the Argentine Foreign Ministry,” the spokesman said. He said AJCommittee president Richard Maass and Kovadloff met last Wednesday with William Stedman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs “to exchange views” on the situation.

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