BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Argentina’s president turned “victims into victimizers” in her U.N. General Assembly address, a Jewish leader in the South American nation said.
Jewish leaders in Argentina on Monday responded to Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s public criticism of the Argentine Jewish community in her U.N speech on the first day of Rosh Hashanah for not supporting the pact with Iran in order to jointly investigate the deadly 1994 AMIA bombing attack.
Argentine Jewish leaders were unable to respond to Fernandez’s accusations until after Rosh Hashanah.
“We feel hurt and worried,” Julio Schlosser, president of DAIA, the country’s Jewish political umbrella, told local media. “It was very surprising how she tried to make the Jewish community responsible for the failure of the case.
Fernandez told the General Assembly, “The Jewish institutions that always support us, they turned against us. We asked Iran to cooperate with the Argentinian Justice Ministry several times. Then we signed a Memorandum of Understanding which is a tool to cooperate. We want the Iranians to declare the facts to the judge.
“When we signed the agreement, it seemed that the internal and external demons were unleashed. Jewish institutions who had accompanied us turned against us. When we decided to cooperate, they accused us of complicity with the state of Iran.”
Fernandez pointed out that when representatives of the U.S. government met with Iranian leaders, there was no similar outcry.
“From Day 1 we’ve always said that the Republic of Iran, or the terrorist state of Iran, is not a valid partner since they are not trustworthy in any memorandum that seeks the truth,” Schlosser said. “She [Fernandez] tried to turn victims into victimizers. We were victims of terrorism. We are the victims of the only demon which is the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Early this year, an Argentine federal court declared the pact with Iran to be unconstitutional.