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Paper sparks diplomatic flap in Argentina

The misreporting of comments by an Israeli diplomat at Independence Day celebrations in Buenos Aires sparked a flap with the Argentine government.In a special section on its front page, Argentina’s Clarin newspaper reported Tuesday that Ambassador Rafael Eldad said, “The Jewish people are ashamed of the Argentine political leadership.” Clarin said Eldad made the remark Monday evening at the Israeli Independence Day celebration in downtown Buenos Aires. The embassy rejected the report as “a complete lie. The ambassador never said, never thought it,” embassy official Lior Hayat told JTA. The embassy demanded that Clarin publish a correction in the same prominent spot. The report sparked a round of phone calls Tuesday between Israeli and Argentine officials, and Eldad met Wednesday morning with Argentine President Nestor Kirchner. On Wednesday, Clarin issued a correction – on page 32 – attributing the remark to Argentine Zionist Organization President Silvio Rossjanski, and providing context. “We are ashamed of certain people in our country that make a trip to Iran to express solidarity with its baleful president,” Rossjanski had said, referring to an Argentine government official who visited Iran in March. The Israeli Embassy called the correction insufficient and demanded a public apology.