Menu JTA Search

Timerman Praises U.S. Administration for Help in Securing His Release

Jacobo Timerman, the Argentine publisher and editor now living in Israel, said today he was grateful to the Carter Administration for help in securing his release from Argentina after two-and-a-half years in prison and under house arrest. “For the first time a first-rate power like the United States made a point about human rights,” he said.

Timerman made his remarks at a luncheon in which he received the Hubert Humphrey Prize Medallion from the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. The medallion was originally presented in June in absentia and accepted by Timerman’s son, Hector, who was also at today’s fete at the ADL headquarters.

Maxwell E. Greenberg, ADL national chairman, also presented a special citation today to Patricia Derian, Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, for help in the Timerman case and her efforts in behalf of other political prisoners throughout the world.

Timerman also expressed thanks to the ADL and other independent organizations in the U.S who worked on his behalf. But he urged the ADL and other American groups to continue their efforts on behalf of other political prisoners. “They are expecting from you the same that I expected from you,” he said.

HOPES WERE RAISED

Timerman said that he and other political prisoners in Argentine jails had their hopes raised when they learned that Derian had come to Argentina in their behalf. Derian called Timerman her “cousin” and said she had other “cousins” who were still prisoners in Argentina, the Soviet Union, South Africa and elsewhere. She urged continued efforts until the people of the world say “no, this is intolerable” to all political oppression.

Benjamin Epstein, executive vice president of the ADL Foundation, said that When the Humphrey prize was presented last June, no one dreamed that in a few months Timerman would be here to receive it himself. “What we do today may save a life,” Epstein said.

Nathan Perlmutter, ADL national director, said that Timerman was imprisoned for ideals. But now that he is free he carries a “burden” that what he does may have an effect on those still in Argentine prisons. Timerman refused to answer questions from reporters today. But he did tell the audience that many of their questions will be answered in a book he is writing which is being published by the Keter Publishing House in Jerusalem.

Timerman, who was editor and publisher of the prestigious La Opinion before his arrest, said today that during his year-and-a-half under house arrest in his Buenos Aires apartment he had many talks with his rabbi, Marshall Meyer. “I promised him never to become a victim of resentment,” he said. He said his only feeling now was one of “joy.” The ADL luncheon was attended by representatives of many of the organizations that had helped fight for Timerman’s release.

NEXT STORY