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PLO Propaganda Offensive in Argentina

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Starting with a public manifestation commemorating November 29 as the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, ” PLO propaganda has become more intense in Buenos Aires, culminating with a New Year’s Day statement by the president of the Argentine-Arab Foundation that it is “quite likely” that the government will allow the opening of a PLO office in the country in 1985, the World Jewish Congress reported today.

An internal report by the Latin American branch of the WJC characterizes the recent PLO propaganda offensive as a virtual “publicity explosion.” It details the following developments:

* The November 29 public meeting took place in a municipal hall and included among its speakers the pro-government parliamentarian Horacio Huarte and Peronist parliamentarian Antonio Paleari, who suggested that President Raul Alfonsin be requested by Parliament to recognize the PLO. Ambassador Julio Barbosa, director of International Organizations at the Foreign Ministry, also spoke at that event.

* At the same time, and with great publicity, a Spanish-language “Magazine for Palestine Studies” was launched by the “Institute for Palestine Studies” was launched by the “Institute for Palestine Studies.” In its section on special documents, it included a report on the Kahan Commission, which investigated the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps massacre in West Beirut.

* The Jewish Movement for Human Rights took part in the November 29 meeting, responding to a very warm invitation from Saad Chedid, president of the Argentine-Arab Foundation. The invitation and the attendance had wide publicity, so much so that an Argentine-Arab radio program criticized the invitation to the Jewish movement.

* On New Year’s Day, Chedid told the press that “the Argentine government is showing positive signs in its attitude concerning the Palestine people issue,” and added, “It is up to the PLO now to request permission for the opening of an office in Buenos Aires, which the Foreign Ministry will decide on in due time.” Chedid also said that “Alfonsin sent me a cable on the occasion of the November 29 event, wishing me success.”

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