ADL Report Cites High Level of Anti-semitism in Argentina

Anti-Semitism continues at a disturbingly high level in Argentina where it is often used as a political weapon to attack democratic institutions and the government of President Raul Alfonsin, according to Latin American Report, published by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.

Also cited among developments in the region were a steady increase in anti-Semitic incidents in Chile, where the government had in the past effectively limited such activity, and the Peruvian Jewish community’s concern over President Alan Garcia’s meeting with Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat at the Non-Aligned Nations Conference in Zimbabwe last September.

Latin American Report is prepared by Rabbi Morton Rosenthal, director of ADL’s Latin American Affairs Department, and Martin Schwartz, assistant director. It provides information on issues and events in Latin America and the Caribbean affecting Jewish communities in the region and the State of Israel.

EXAMPLES OF ANTI-SEMITISM

Examples of anti-Semitic manifestations in Argentina included the following:

The reappearance of the so-called “Andinia Plan,” a claim by Argentine anti-Semites that Israel is plotting to turn the Patagonian region in the south of Argentina into a Jewish state.

An article in the rightwing Peronist newspaper Alerta Nacional titled, “This Is How They Dominate Us,” which listed alleged “Zionist functionaries” of the Central Bank of Argentina, including the names, titles and ages of the “guilty.” The newspaper also threatened to continue publishing lists of “Jewish elements that have bought their way into the current Alfonsin regime.”

A Buenos Aires demonstration “Against the Jewish Dictatorship,” organized by a neo-Nazi group.

A doll with the gestapo “SS” inscription hanging by a noose in an army barracks.

The arrest for “an administrative offense” of the chief legal advisor (who is Jewish) for the Argentine Border Patrol after he denounced the carving of two swastikas in the walls of the Patrol’s headquarters.

The report notes as “a welcome counterpoint to Arab-inspired anti-Semitism,” an Arab-Jewish statement of solidarity in the La Rioja province which calls for “rejection of all types of discrimination and hatred which divide us.”

PLO RELATED ACTIVITIES

In other PLO-related activities in the region, Methodist University of Piracicaba, Brazil, and the PLO, declaring themselves “dedicated to the democratic, anti-imperialist, anti-Zionist struggle,” signed an agreement last August for “cooperation and cultural exchanges.”

In Chile, the pro-Nazi publications of the notorious anti-Semite and former diplomat, Miguel Serrano, and others were brought to the attention to the Minister of Justice by the Jewish community which called them important elements in the anti-Semitic campaign developing there.

The ADL report also focused on moves toward better Catholic-Jewish relations in the region. The Latin American Bishops Conference, in an historic move to combat anti-Semitism, has drawn up guidelines for the use of Catholic educators in teaching about Jews and Judaism.

The guidelines are the product of a Catholic-Jewish meeting sponsored by the Bishops Conference, ADL and the Latin American Jewish Congress which was held in Bogota, Colombia, last September.

Copies of the Latin American Report can be obtained from ADL’s Latin American Affairs Department, 823 United Nations Plaza, New York 10017.

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