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Argentine President Condemns Anti-semitism, Racial Bias

President Roberto Viola of Argentina has condemned anti-Semitism and all forms of racial and religious bias, it was reported here by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, president of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and spiritual leader of the Park East Synagogue in New York City.

The rabbi, who led a delegation of clerics at the meeting with Viola in Buenos Aires last week, said that following the meeting Viola issued a communique stating that he will use his power to combat any form of religious discrimination and safeguard the rights of individuals.

Schneier, who is also chairman of the World Jewish Congress-American Section, said he told Viola that “At a time of social and economic upheaval, and increased worldwide anti-Semitic manifestations, it is important that leaders speak clearly and loudly against this scourge.”

The delegation consisted of Rev. Herbert Anderson, Senior Minister, Brick Presbyterian Church in New York, Rt. Rev. Peter Rosazza, Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Hartford, Conn., and Marc Schneier, senior rabbinic student at Yeshiva University in New York.

The delegation received a commitment from the Minister of Education, Carlos Burundarene, that the President’s statement will be disseminated throughout the school system. Viola and the Minister of Interior assured the delegation that the NBC-TV “Holocaust” series will be shown on Argentine television no later than January 1982.

The delegation also pointed out, in its discussions with Argentine officials, the need for legislation as a deterrent against the desecration of houses of worship, religious institutions and cemeteries. In its discussions with the President and members of his Cabinet, the delegation discussed the fate of the 857 prisoners now being held under National Executive Power (PEN) and of those who have disappeared during the years 1975-1979, Schneier reported.

He said he also visited the network of Jewish schools, synagogues and institutions. “While assimilation is high, the rise in the number of children attending day schools and the number of young people who speak Hebrew is impressive,” Schneier said.

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