Presidents Conference makes solidarity visit to beleaguered Argentine Jewish leaders


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — A delegation of U.S. Jewish leaders visited Buenos Aires to express its solidarity with Jewish leaders in Argentina amid tensions with the government.

Following the 36-hour visit this week, Stephen Greenberg, incoming chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and Malcolm Hoenlein, the umbrella group’s executive vice chairman, said in a statement that the delegation came to support “the Argentinian Jewish community and its communal institutions” in the wake of “recent events that raise the specter of anti-Semitism and, in particular, the serious charges leveled against leaders of the community.”

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in an article published last month linked Jewish leaders to an international conspiracy against the government and railed against the late AMIA prosecutor Alberto Nisman on Twitter to her more than 3.7 million followers. Nisman had charged that Argentina’s government covered up Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center, which killed 85 and injured 300. Argentina’s courts have dismissed Nisman’s accusations.

On her tweet, Kirchner accused Nisman of saying during meetings with Jewish community leaders that Paul Singer, a Jewish-American billionaire who heads a U.S. hedge fund, would provide billions of dollars to prevent Argentina from signing a memorandum of understanding with Iran on jointly investigating the AMIA bombing. The memorandum, which has received international criticism, was signed in January 2013.

Last week, a lawsuit alleging treason against Argentine Jewish leaders and Singer was sent to a prosecutor, who said he will investigate.

The DAIA, an umbrella group that was accused along with AMIA, has denied any relationship linking local Jewish leaders and Singer.

DAIA Vice President Waldo Wolff told JTA that the accusation is based on an article written by a former employee who now is employed by the government.

“He is telling lies — dangerous lies that are impossible to prove … because it’s impossible to prove something that one did not do,” Wolff said. “We are confident and calm. We have nothing to hide.”

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