Timerman Accuses Knesset of Bowing to Political Blackmail

Jacobo Timerman, the former editor and publisher of the Buenos Aires daily La Opinion, accused, the Knesset this week of surrender “to political blackmail” by the Argentine government.

Timerman, who was detained as a political prisoner in Argentina for two years before he came to Israel last year, mode the charge publicly at the opening session of the 33rd Congress of the International Federation of Newspaper Publishers which presented him with its “Golden Pen for Freedom” award in recognition of his suffering in the cause of a free press.

The award ceremonies were to have been held in the Knesset building but were transferred to the nearby Hebrew University. A Knesset spokesman said this was done “due to requests by Argentine Jewry.”

Timerman told the 450 delegates from 19 countries who are attending the five-day conference that the Knesset treated him “not as on Israeli citizen but as an Argentinean prisoner. “He thanked the Congress for the award “in the name of the Israeli people, not the Israeli parliament which yields to political blackmail.” He implied that pressure was brought to hear by the Argentine government. Since coming to Israel, Timerman has been writing a column for the daily Maariv.

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