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Daia Official Says That a Serious Problem Facing Argentine Jewry is Pro-arab Propaganda

February 15, 1983
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Pro-Arab propaganda is “one of Argentine Jewry’s most serious problems,” according to Luis Comisarenco, the acting president of DAIA, the Jewish community’s umbrella organization in that country.

Comisarenco, a vice president of the DAIA responsible for Christian-Jewish relations, told leaders of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith that the propaganda falls on receptive ears because of “endemic anti-Semitism among 30 percent of Argentineans.”

Speaking in Spanish to a meeting of ADL’s Committee on Interfaith Affairs here, Comisarenco said that DAIA’s educational efforts to counteract Arab propaganda are proving effective. He asserted that greater understanding of Israel’s policies and actions was being developed among Jews as well as Christians.

His remarks were translated by Rabbi Leon Klenicki, co-director of ADL’s Department of Interfaith Affairs and consultant to DAIA on inter-religious concerns.

Comisarenco cited examples of progress in Christian-Jewish relations. He said that for the first time in the nation’s history rabbis are beginning to serve as chaplains in the Argentine armed forces. Another significant portent, he continued, is increasing acceptance of material prepared by Jewish organizations on Christianity’s Jewish heritage.

He described as “a breakthrough ” the distribution in Catholic churches and schools of a Spanish version of a booklet, “Abraham Our Father in Faith, ” which was prepared by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in cooperation with ADL.

Comisarenco emphasized, however, that the situation in Argentina remains “difficult and complex” because of a reluctance among some Jews and Christians to establish interfaith relationships. He added that “the dialogue” cannot be compared with developments in the United States “since the Catholic church in Argentina has not advanced as far beyond Vatican II ” as has the Catholic church in America.

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