KIAMESHA LAKE, N.Y. (May. 26)
Neo-Nazis in Chile and Paraguay are waging a war of vandalism and terrorism against the Jewish communities in those countries, Rabbi Angel Kreiman of the Communidad Israelite Sefardi Congregation in Santiago told delegates to the 86th annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly, the organization of Conservative rabbis in the U.S. and Canada.
There are 30,000 Jews in Chile and 1,000 in Paraguay Both countries are ruled by rightwing military dictatorships, and neo-Nazi groups apparently operate with impunity, according to Kreiman. He said the worst recent offense against Chilean Jews occurred during the observance of Yom Hashoa, Holocaust Memorial Day, when the home and car of Amiti Pilowsky, president of the Anti Defamation League Commission in Santiago, were bombed and badly damaged. No one was hurt.
The terrorist act was carried out during the 2-5 a.m. curfew enforced for all citizens, Kreiman reported. He said that during the past six months the walls of his congregation building were defaced with anti-Semitic slogans and a building near the Israel Embassy was smeared with the words, "No to Zionism."
Kreiman reported that the same neo-Nazi gangs are responsible for acts of vandalism against Catholic churches and buildings in Santiago. The Catholic Church has been targeted because it is a strong supporter of human rights in Chile, Kreiman said.
NOTORIOUS ANTI-SEMITIC BOOKS PUBLISHED
He said he was especially disturbed by the appearance of paperback editions of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," the notorious 19th century anti-Semitic forgery, and Hitler’s "Mein Kampf," the latter with an introduction by Chile’s former Ambassador to the Vatican, Miguel Serrano, "to lend it respectability." Both works came from a rightwing publishing house.
In Paraguay, Kreiman said the observance of Yom Hashoa in Asuncion, the capital, was marred by the appearance of anti-Jewish slogans on many building walls, caricatures of Jews with long noses, and Stars of David with the legend, "Kill Jews because they killed Christ and founded the Communist Party."
Kreiman said in reply to questions that the recent emergence of neo-Nazi groups in Chile was hard to explain but part of the reason was that the government, preoccupied with its campaign against Communists and leftists, gave these groups a great deal of freedom for their activities.
The RA adopted a resolution calling on the Presidents of Chile and Paraguay to take "immediate action in condemning these acts of violence and defacing of property against both Jews and Catholics and to utilize every possible law enforcement at their disposal to catch those guilty of these acts."