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Relations Between Jews and Arabs in Argentina Deteriorate As Result of Palestine Issue

January 29, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Relations between Jews and Arabs in Argantina, which were traditionally friendly, have deteriorated to some extent recently as a result of the Palestine situation.

Even today there is not too much interest among the Arab population concerning Palestine, but statements by the leaders of both communities on the issue have inevitably tended to exacerbate feelings on both aides. In 1938, Ezra Teubal, a prominent leader of the Jewish community, and Moises Azize, leader of the Arab community, issued a joint statement declaring that “the tragedy in Palestine has been caused by certain foreign powers” and that Jews and Arabs were friends. More recently, however, Azize, in an article in the newspaper Critica, criticized American intervention in the Palestins issue and cited testimony of Syrian Jews before the Anglo-American inquiry committee as evidence that Jews in the Arab countries are not interested in Zionism.

Relations between Jews and Arabs became strained after the outbreak of war, when Nazi propagandists became active here and succeeded in influencing some Arab circles. While leaders of the Arabs hailed the government for maintaining its policy of neutrality, Jewish circles were pro-Allied and critical of the government’s stand.


The first attempt at a large-scale Arab anti-Zionist campaign was made in March, 1945 with the convening of the “First Pan-American Arab Congress.” The Congress has issued, since its formation, several anti-Zionist statements and called for the return of the ex-Mufti to Palestine. A few months ago an “Association Cultural Pan-Arabiga Argentina,” which is not listed in any city or phone directory, issued a pamphlet entitled “The Jews and Palestine,” which warned that Jews were endangering their position in the country by spreading Zionist propaganda.

The Peronist press, which constitutes the majority of the newspapers in the country, is divided on the Zionist issue. Tribuna, which is violently anti-Jewish is likewise anti-Zionist, and has called for the outlawing of Zionist groups. The other papers take no editorial stand, but usually print more pro-Arab than pro-Zionist news.

Jewish ciroles fear the projected elevation of the Syrian and Lebanon representations here to the status of legations will strengthen Arab influence. There are about 300,000 Arabs in Argentina, including natives of Arab countries and persons born here who have at least one Arab parent. At least half of them are Christians, since many of them come from Lebanon.

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