Cry for me Argentina

The mysterious death of state prosecutor Alberto Nisman after he had accused President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of plotting to cover up his investigation of the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center – the Argentinean Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) – has also raised the question of Antisemitism in the country.

The aftermath of the 1994 attack
The aftermath of the 1994 attack

Argentina’s Jewish community, which at over 180,000 is the biggest in South America and one of the biggest in the world, recalls the Argentinian Peron regime of the 1950s and  its close ties with Nazis; Adolf Eichmann was given refuge in Argentina before he was kidnapped by the Mossad. Yet to this day, Antisemitism is said to be common amount the old elites. Waldo Wolff, vice president of the Delegacion de Asociaciones Israelitas, said that after nearly every one of his TV appearances, he receives Antisemitic messages on Twitter.

In another instance, Damian Pachter, a Jewish Argentinean journalist who served in the IDF, was accused on Argentinean TV of being a Mossad agent. Pachter fled the country a month ago at the advice of sources close to the local intelligence community, after being the first to report that Nisman had been found shot in his room. Pachter’s early report might have made it more difficult to present Nisman’s death as a suicide, if indeed it was not.

And just over a week ago posters were put up in a Buenos Aires neighborhood reading, “A good Jews is a dead Jew,” showing a picture of Nisman.

It would seem that Argentina needs to take a long, hard look at itself.

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