BEN GURION AIRPORT (Sep. 27)
Jacobo Timerman, former editor and publisher of the Buenos Aires daily, La Opinion, arrived here today 48 hours after the Argentine regime had released him after 29 months of prison and house arrest. He was immediately made a citizen and given on Israeli identity card and a new immigrant’s card.
” I am proud to be a Jew,” Timerman said He said the great change in Jewish life now is that “Israel is the homeland of the Jews. It is important for me to show to the world that a Jew who was deported from a certain country in the world does not have to become a refugee any more Forty eight hours after I was expelled From Argentina I have received my Israeli citizenship and I feel at home.”
Timerman was taken from his Buenos Aires apartment, where he had been under house arrest, Monday night and put on board a flight for Rome with a visa to Israel. Timerman, who had been ordered released by the Argentine Supreme Court, was also stripped of his Argentine citizenship.
Timerman was met at the airport by a large group of relatives, including his wife Rische and a son Javier, friends from Argentina, representatives of the Israel Journalists Association, the World Federation of Jewish Journalists, the Association of Latin Americans in Israel, Jewish Agency and Ministry of Absorption officials.
Looking tired but happy, Timerman refused to discuss the situation of Jews in Argentina or the Argentine situation in general. He told reporters that until he was on a plane he did not know he and been released. He said when he was taken from his apartment he thought he was about to be put in a prison again.
Timerman said that his immediate plan is to rest after his long ordeal in Argentina He thanked the Israeli government, the Carter Administration and members of Congress, as well as Jewish international organizations that exerted every possible effort to have him released.