New York (Aug. 13)
the noted author-journalist who has written extensively on racism, Nazism and anti-Semitism, said he will urge the Jewish War Veterans of America at their national convention in Hollywood, Fla. next week to take definitive action on behalf of Jacobo Timerman. Allen, who will address the convention, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that if the JWV does take action, it will be the first major Jewish organization to do so.
In his address, which will be based on an article he has written for the JWV’s national convention journal, Allen notes that Timerman “insists on an uncategorical struggle against anti-Semitism, racism and oppression no matter what the source is” and that his principles are an “acute discomfort” to “certain circles in the United States and abroad.”
In his article and speech, Allen calls on JWV members to “face the hard truths which Timerman offers us, close ranks and resolve that we will not relive the murderous follies of the recent past.” Timerman, the former editor of La Opinion in Buenos Aires, spent 30 months in Argentinian prisons and was then stripped of his citizenship and deported to Israel. He recounts the torture and anti-Semitism he experienced at the hands of his Argentinian jailers in his book, “Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number.”
Allen, a former senior editor of The Nation and a contributing editor of The Churchman, points out that Timerman reported the tortures he went through “with meticulous attention to detail.” Non-Jewish survivors’ of Argentinian tortures have corroborated that “the chambers are painted with swastikas, SS death heads, and photographs of Hitler,” Allen says.
ATTACKS LED BY FAR RIGHT, CONSERVATIVES
He notes that Timerman has been criticized for attacking only the more acceptable, benign ‘authoritarians’ who are needed to combat the ‘totalitarians’.” He describes efforts to discredit Timerman as “a well orchestrated campaign … led by avowed (and influential) far right academics, neo-conservative publicists and some public figures.” Disputing the criticism, Allen stresses that Timerman “hammers away at the theme that human rights are indivisible, universal and transcend all ideologies.” Continuing, Allen notes:
“The Timerman affair goes well beyond his person. The assaults upon him are designed to discredit entirely the issues he raises and gives honest testimony about; he has just emerged from an experience in a country whose ruling circles have been officially infested with Nazism for more than 40 years.”
Challenging anyone “who dares dispute” the charge of Nazism in Argentina, Allen says that Timerman “throws down the gauntlet to all of us, Jewish and non-Jewish alike; will we remain silent in the face of an historic, clear and present danger? Are we once again going to repeat the sin of silent complicity?”