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Argentine Jewish Leaders Voice Opposition to Planned B’nai B’rith Aid

November 24, 1965
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The decision adopted this week by the B’nai B’rith Board of Governors in Washington to initiate a program of technical and financial aid for human relations activities in Latin American countries–“locally-planned, locally-directed” through B’nai B’rith affiliates in these countries–was received here today with “disagreeable surprise.” It was emphasized that such a program is contrary to the “explicit opinion” of DAIA, the central representative body of Argentine Jewry, and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Argentina.

Open criticism against “those who, from many thousands of miles away, attempt to tell us how to manage our affairs,” was voiced by Dr. Isaac Goldenberg, DAIA president, at the biennial conference of the DAIA now in session here. He told the 120 delegates from all parts of the country that “our community possesses generous traits and has the valor to stand up to situations when needed. In the present world situation, mere literature against anti-Semitism and sociologic studies are not enough. The communities need to become factors of power and deterrence.” His remarks, as part of his biennial policy report as president, received prolonged applause from the delegates at the session.

Jewish leaders in Argentina, he said, must be “permanently on the alert in order to live peacefully with the general community. During brief lapses from normalcy, we must be prepared for abnormal situations which may occur at any time, anywhere.” He asked for “ample support” for DAIA and for unity within the Jewish community.


In the presence of a 21-member delegation from the American Jewish Congress, attending the session as guests, Mark Turkow, South American executive member of the World Jewish Congress, reported that, recently, there have been grave manifestations of anti-Semitism in Paraguay. He said that, at Asuncion, capital of Paraguay, Jewish tombstones were desecrated recently and swastikas had been smeared on Jewish grave markers as well as on the Monument to Nazi Victims.

Mr. Turkow added, however, that Paraguyan police have acted vigorously on the manifestations, arresting and investigating 200 suspects. The Paraguayan press, he said, both those newspapers that support the Government and others in the opposition, “energetically condemned the anti-Semitic profanations.” The session adopted a resolution expressing the Argentine Jewish community’s solidarity with the Jews of Paraguay.

The American Jewish Congress delegation here is being led by Will Maslow, executive director of the organization. Buenos Aires is the fourth Latin American center visited by the group. The AJC study mission of Latin America had visited, prior to coming here, Caracas, Venezuela, and Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil. The delegation arrived here yesterday and was greeted warmly by representatives of the World Jewish Congress and by leaders of other Jewish organizations in this country.

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