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Argentinian President Macri visited the historical synagogue of Basavilbaso

AJN Agency.- Only a few days away of Rosh Hashana and with Iom Kipur coming soon, Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina participate of the meeting at the synagogue Tefila L’Moisés at Basavilbaso, Province of Entre Ríos.

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AJN Agency.- The argentinian President, Mauricio Macri, assisted to the Synagogue Tefila L’ Moisés de Basavilbaso, one of the olders of Argentina, making himself the first argentinian president in visit that synagogue.

Macri send his best wishes for the jewish new year celebration and added: «I want to thank you for reciving me here, in your home. For us it has been very important this years working with the community».

Claudio Avruj, secretary of Human Rights of Argentina discribed that the visit of Macri «Represents with out dudes a huge tribute to the jewish inmigration in the historic colonies of Entre Ríos and a deep recognition to the permanent support to the development of the local communities».

At meeting were present the Rabbi Sergio Bergman, secretary of goverment in Environment and Sustainable Development, and the Minister of Interior, Public Works and Housing of Argentina, Rogelio Frigerio, among others.

In a letter written by Avruj, he assured his pride for the president and remarked the pluralism and respect of Macri.

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Argentina | Holocaust and Heroism Day. President Milei’s major speech against anti-Semitism and terrorism

»Therefore, in keeping with our history and with what we consider to be true, we ratify today our spirit of friendship and collaboration with the State of Israel and we offer Argentina’s candidacy for the International Presidency of the IHRA», expressed Milei.

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Agencia AJN.- At an event organised on Wednesday by the Delegation of Argentinean Israelite Associations (DAIA) and the Holocaust Museum of Buenos Aires to commemorate Holocaust and Heroism Day, the 81st anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, President Javier Milei announced ‘Argentina’s candidacy for the presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’ (IHRA).

The IHRA is an intergovernmental organisation of 35 states whose aim is to combat acts of anti-Semitism, intolerance and discrimination that can lead to genocides such as those experienced by humanity in the 20th century.

The main event was also attended by Nazi survivors, relatives of people kidnapped by Hamas, national, provincial and municipal authorities, judges, political leaders, diplomats, representatives of different religious denominations, community leaders, among others.

President Milei’s full speech:

At the outset, I would like to pay tribute to Lior Rudaeff, an Argentinean living in Israel who was kidnapped and murdered by the Hamas terrorist organisation on 7 October.  I would like to extend my sincere condolences to his family and loved ones, and call for the return of his body so that he can be given a proper farewell by them. Baruch Dayan Haemet to him and to all the victims of Islamic terrorism in Argentina and the world.

Today more than ever there can be no doubt that the scourge of Islamic terrorism on Israel and the Jewish people is not a problem alien to us Argentines, but one that affects us directly. First, because 21 Argentines were murdered by Hamas on that tragic day, 20 more Argentines were kidnapped and today, seven months after the attack, there are at least eight compatriots for whom we still do not know whether they are still among us or whether they have passed on to another life. Secondly, because when a battle is fought between good and evil, between freedom and oppression, between civilisation and barbarism, taking sides is not one option among others but a moral obligation.

Today we are here to remember perhaps the greatest tragedy in the history of mankind, we are doing so under the name of Holocaust and Heroism Day, and I would like to pause to discuss with you this second concept, heroism. Because I believe that the heroism and virtue of men is the flip side of tragedy, it is the only thing that can make the righteous prevail over those who seek to oppress them and rob them of their freedom. And because I believe that in times of darkness, when speaking out is costly and when the majority prefer to turn their backs on righteousness for their own convenience, promoting virtue is a commandment and a duty.

We remember today the Jewish resistance in the Warsaw ghetto, where 300,000 souls were imprisoned in inhumane conditions for three years by the Nazi regime, only to be transferred to extermination camps as we all know. We remember that one day in 1943 the prisoners took what few weapons there were and put up a fight. For 27 days they fought for their freedom, under unequal conditions and with virtually no chance of success. They fought for their freedom, which is a just cause in every time and place, and they chose to die fighting rather than be killed.

adentro milei

The struggle for freedom against adversaries always more powerful than themselves has been a constant in the history of the Jewish people, and has forged for them a heroic spirit, a warrior spirit. This is already clear in the sacred scriptures, it is seen in the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt, escaping from the yoke of Pharaoh, leaving behind slavery to embrace freedom. The revolt of the Maccabees is clear when, despite being in a distinct minority, the least against the most, the weak against the powerful, they drove out the Greek invader and recaptured Jerusalem. It was never the number of soldiers that mattered, but the forces that came from heaven.

Fighting battle upon battle for over 4,000 years, though many were lost and though the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed twice, the Jewish people persisted. And today again, being under threat, surrounded by enemies who pursue a goal akin to the goal of those who imprisoned more than 300,000 souls in the ghetto 80 years ago, because the intention of Hamas on 7 October was the same as that of the Nazis, to directly and deliberately murder innocent people, if they did not do it on a larger scale, it was not because they did not want to but because they could not.

Today, we see in parallel to these sad events a recognition in the world of both intolerant Islamic fanaticism and anti-Semitism in its different versions. And to make matters worse, we see how all these phenomena are not perceived by the free world with the sharp condemnation and firm action they demand, but with discomfort and ambiguous gestures. I look around me at the rest of the leaders of the free world, especially the leaders of the great nations that should be the pillars of global freedom, and I see indifference in some and fear in others to stand on the side of truth.

Today the world is silent while there are still more than 100 hostages suffering, eight of whom are fellow Argentines. Not to mention the blatant anti-Semitism that has become commonplace on the campuses of educational institutions entrusted with the professional and human training of the West’s elites. I believe that the heroism we talk so much about and want to promote is also to defend the truth, to speak the truth when around us the truth is silenced.

That is why when the world is silent, we have an obligation to speak out, because it is the silence of the good that allows the barbarity of the bad, and because speaking out, looking straight and not turning a blind eye, even though it is difficult, even though for many it is inconvenient, is the only way to ensure that the Shoah is not repeated.

And because God will not accept justifications or exculpations when it comes to rendering his ultimate judgement, we will not be able to tell him what, but I could not or what virtue was not convenient at the time, he will not judge us for what we thought, believed or wanted, but for having done the right thing in life. That is why today remembering the Shoah, remembering heroism and denouncing Islamic terrorism is an obligation, because without heroes we are defenceless in the face of an ever darker and longer night.

In closing I would like to thank Marcelo Mindlin, Jorge Knoblovits and the rest of the authorities of the DAIA and the Holocaust Museum for organising and inviting me to be part of this commemoration at such a difficult time for the Jewish people that demands that we all work back-to-back.

I also want to tell you that Argentina is a historic friend of the Jewish people. We were the first country in the region to recognise the existence of the State of Israel and today we proudly have the largest Jewish community in Latin America and the tenth largest in the world. Together with the Jewish community, we have suffered the cowardly attacks by the Iranian government, not only on the Jewish-Argentine community, but on the Argentinean people as a whole, which, thanks to the persistent efforts of those who seek the truth, are now, three decades later, beginning to be clarified.

Therefore, in keeping with our history and with what we consider to be true, we ratify today our spirit of friendship and collaboration with the State of Israel and we offer Argentina’s candidacy for the International Presidency of the IHRA (video), an institution whose value takes on new relevance and urgency every day, at a dark time, when the rest of the world is turning its back on Israel, they will find us at their firm side always.

Finally, and lastly, I would like to conclude with a letter from Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, which seems to me to be very pertinent to the times we are living in and which should be present in our lives every day. This letter says: ‘Those who are convinced that their opinions are true and correct must express them constantly and at every opportunity with candour, and without regard to the degree of support they have and the level of opposition they will encounter. Lies need supporters to succeed; lies need the authority of majorities to fill what they lack in the rightness of their argument. Truth, on the other hand, will always win out in the end. Even if it takes time, noble, courageous and pure, expressed with all the ardour of conviction and with all the clarity of a sure conscience, expressed again and again on every occasion, it will eventually win the respect and esteem of even those who refuse to accept it. The only truth that has been lost without the possibility of regaining it is that whose possessors have not the courage to speak frankly of it. Truth was never defeated by the forces of resistance, it was only defeated when its possessors were too weak to defend it’.

Thank you very much.

 

 

 

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AJN News

Brazil. For the OAS, «it is not surprising that Hezbollah is in Venezuela, Nicaragua and with planes in Argentina»

After the Brazilian police arrested two people suspected of being linked to the terrorist group, Fernando Lottenberg told the AJN Agency that «Hezbollah’s cooperation with certain countries is intense, especially with Nicaragua and Venezuela», but stressed as «positive» that the security forces and the judiciary are «attentive».

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Miembros de Hezbollah sostienen banderas durante un mitin para conmemorar el Día de los Mártires de Hezbollah, en los suburbios del sur de Beirut, en noviembre de 2022 (Crédito de la foto: AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS)

Agencia AJN.- The Commissioner for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism of the OAS, Fernando Lottenberg, held an interview with the AJN Agency after the Brazilian police arrested two people suspected of being linked to Hezbollah and considered that «it is surprising that it is in Brazil, but not surprising that it is in this region».

Furthermore, regarding the wave of anti-Semitism around the world, he stressed that «it is not only up to the Jewish community to fight it».

«We need and demand the support of government institutions, police and civil society so that Jewish lives are protected. I think this is the most serious moment we are living through since the end of the Second World War,» he said.

-What can you tell us about what we have heard in Brazil in the last few hours?

-What happened in the last 48 hours was the arrest of two people in Brazil, one in Sao Paulo and one in Belen do Para, who apparently are there on instructions and hired by Hezbollah, to carry out terrorist acts in Brazil against Jewish institutions. Not much is known at the moment, the investigation is taking place in secret. What we do know, point one, is that there is collaboration between Israeli and Brazilian authorities. Point two, in a statement that one of them gave to the Federal Police, he confirmed the connection with Hezbollah and now we are trying to understand this factor, in the light of what happened in Argentina for example in the 90s and whether or not it has a connection with what is happening in the Middle East today. If it could be an attempt to open other fronts, to try to hurt Jewish communities in other countries. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, because we don’t know everything at the moment. It’s a bit strange that this is happening. We never heard that there would be something prepared against the Brazilian Jewish community, but of course, from what we know, it can’t be ruled out. I think we have to follow the investigations, what comes out of the police and the judges, and when we have more information we will talk about it again.

-On a personal level, do you have an opinion on why it may come to this?

-I want to draw a positive consequence from this, because it is something that is normally approached from another angle. You always talk about the Triple Frontier and that they are out there and nobody is looking at them and they do what they want. And I say from my own experience, as a former community leader, that this is not the case. The police are vigilant. When I was in the presidency (Jewish community), this is public, I am not giving away a secret, just remembering, someone was arrested in Foz do Iguaçu who was looking for funds and financing for Hezbollah. With the cooperation of the three countries he was arrested, prosecuted and tried. If we have to look at a positive angle, they are attentive, they are cooperating with institutions in other countries. If you ask me why at this moment, I still don’t know what to say. When I took a position in CONIB (Brazilian Israelite Confederation), I warned about the need for an anti-terrorism law in Brazil. Because the law was a bit outdated, it was from the time of the military regime, and judges avoided applying it. There was some resistance, but in the end we have a law, which is not ideal, but it allows us to do what was done now, because there is legislation for this. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, a person connected to Hezbollah was also arrested, who called himself ISIS and in communications it was found that he would try to do something against Jews. What is important about this law is that it allows, among other things, telematic interception. Terrorism is a dangerous crime, which must be investigated while it is being prepared, because after it is done, there is not much else to do. And this is a small legal revolution that allowed this kind of dangerous crime to be sanctioned.

It’s good that the police are vigilant, it’s good that we have adequate laws and we hope that, if it is confirmed that this is what is being said so far, that they will have adequate punishment.

-Are we only talking about Brazil or when we talk about Mossad and other organizations, can we think that they are looking at the region as a whole? I say this because of what’s happening in Bolivia, because of Venezuela…

-I think so. What we see is that it is surprising that they are in Brazil, but not surprising that they are in this region. Because the cooperation they have with certain countries in our region is intense. Especially Venezuela and Nicaragua. They come and go with great ease, whether they are Hezbollah or Iran. I remember the plane in Argentina. Or the visit of Mohsen Rezai, a senior Iranian leader, who was at Daniel Ortega’s inauguration for the fourth time and was not bothered at all. He is on Interpol’s red alert and was there circulating freely, the Nicaraguan police did nothing, the Argentinean ambassador found him and did not denounce his presence. It seems to us that they have a base here and it could be, I don’t want to be irresponsible, that they are expanding their domain and actions.

-Let’s talk about anti-Semitism and this wave that we are seeing in the world as a result of what happened in Israel with Hamas. What is your view of this?

-What I see first of all is that there is a qualification to be made. And I give him credit, because it is a formulation by Professor Carlos Rey of the Holocaust Museum in Curitiba, Brazil. He says you shouldn’t think of these things in terms of causality, of cause and effect. «What they do there increases anti-Semitism’, no. Anti-Semitism is already there. Anti-Semitism is already there. What happens is that this kind of situation allows them to take to the streets, to the networks, to say absurd things or to take decisions for violent acts, using what is happening in the Middle East as a pretext. I think this is important to say.

Then, we are seeing in the region, in Brazil CONIB detected an increase of almost 1000% compared to last year. In the UK, 600%; in France, 400%. We have to be concerned and we have to look for measures so that the security of Jewish communities is guaranteed. Yesterday I was in Montevideo for the commemoration of 85 years of the Kristallnacht or, as it is called today in Germany, the November pogrom, and in the speeches I gave I emphasized this. Because it is without doubt the most serious moment we are living through. Schools in France had to be closed, people are afraid in American universities to wear Stars of David, kippah or other symbols. It is not up to the Jewish community alone to fight it. We need and demand the support of governmental institutions, police, civil society and others, so that Jewish lives are protected. I believe that this is the most serious moment we are living through since the end of the Second World War. I don’t want to raise unfounded alarms, but it is important for people to be clear that the ill will, the hatred, the harshest prejudice against Jews is out there and we have to be vigilant.

-How does the OAS view this phenomenon?

-With concern. The creation of the function of Commissioner for Combating Anti-Semitism shows the interest and concern of the General Secretariat and the member states to be attentive to the issue. The secretary was already in the first days very firm in demanding the release of the hostages, of what happened on 7 October, and I think we have to try to keep Latin America and the Americas in general as safe as possible, as open as it has always been to minorities, and that Jews should not be the scapegoat once again.

-What is the message to the political leaders of the countries of the region?

-We special envoys met in Paris a fortnight ago. It was a meeting that was marked, but with the events, our main focus became their consequences in terms of what can happen to Jewish communities. We called on governments to assess the needs, to establish the security that Jewish communities need. We call on the police, law enforcement authorities, to be vigilant of threats to Jews. Be aware that Jews around the world cannot be held responsible for what happens in the Middle East. It is very important to make this distinction. We have seen with concern how some leaders in our region were looking for collective responsibility and this does not happen with other communities. It is only with the Jews and it is very serious. We cannot accept it. And the words of political leaders at this time matter a lot. So to talk about genocide, to talk about massacre, to talk about ethnic cleansing, which is not happening there, brings on the Jews an additional burden.

-This goes against the grain of what we see in Honduras, in Chile, in different countries that are going against this in the decisions they are taking with the State of Israel.

-That’s why we wrote this warning and sent it.

-In Argentina, there have been two attacks, the death of a prosecutor, Iranian planes circling overhead, is the region looking for any kind of misfortune that could happen?

-No doubt, and the communities are prepared. We have contacts. I am in Uruguay today, but I am always in contact with Chile, with Colombia, with various community organisations in our region. They are very well prepared and alert and in contact with the security forces to prevent anything more serious from happening. We are also in the political sphere acting with the other commissioners. Argentina has a commissioner, María Fabiana Loguzzo, who was in Paris, making this line of contact and transmission with authorities and civil society so that the issue gains the dimension and concern that it should have.

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