BUENOS AIRES (Apr. 24)
B’nai B’rith International today deplored the appearance in Buenos Aires of the notorious Soviet Gen. David Dragunsky to commemorate the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
In a statement issued here, Samuel Kaplan, president of B’nai B’rith Argentina, declared that the visit by Dragunsky “is an obscene move by his Kremlin masters to discredit the historical Jewish aspiration for a homeland in Israel, expressed through Zionism.”
Dragunsky is a Soviet hero with an undisputable military record. However, Kaplan said, “He has always been willing to serve his Kremlin and KGB masters by discrediting Jews and Zionism.” The B’nai B’rith leader noted that Dragunsky associated with “flagrant anti-Semites who spread religious hatred poorly disguised as attacks on Israel.” Their basic line, he added, is to attempt to link Zionism with Nazism, “the enemy of all Jews and humanity.”
Kaplan traced Drogunsky’s anti-Jewish moves back to the Stalin era, pointing out that just before the Soviet leader died in March 1953 Dragunsky put his name on a petition to pressure Jews into leaving Russia and the Ukraine for the isolation and harsh climate of Siberia. Ail other prominent Jews contacted in the Soviet Union rejected this effort, Kaplan said.
“Dragunsky’s appearance in Argentina is a bald attack on Israel and the Jewish people, the vast majority of whom proudly support the Jewish State,” said Kaplan. “It is a crude attempt to drive a wedge between the only democracy in the Middle East and one of the newest democracies in the Western hemisphere, Argentina.”
B’nai B’rith’s Argentina office, headed by Alfredo Neuberger, director for South America, serves as a key regional center in Latin America.