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Knesset caucus formed to free Israeli held captive in Gaza

AJN.- Abera Mengistu’s brother says the family will no longer remain silent.



Israel: Crean una comisión parlamentaria para pugnar por el regreso a salvo de un rehén etíope en Gaza

AJN.- Two-and-a-half years after he was taken captive, the Caucus for the Return of Avraham (Abera) Mengistu was initiated by members of Mengistu’s family in cooperation with the Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee chairman Avraham Neguise (Likud).

In a special event at the Knesset on Monday, some 15 MKs from different parties, including Zionist Union, Likud, Meretz and Yisrael Beytenu, expressed sympathy for Mengistu’s cause and called on the government to make greater efforts for his release from what is believed to be his captivity by Hamas in the Gaza strip.

Mengistu, who suffers from mental illness, crossed the border into Gaza in July 2014. Some 51 lawmakers signed in favor of opening the special caucus, in addition to the existing one for the return of the soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who died during operation “Protective Edge,” whose bodies are also being held by members of the terrorist group.

Ilan Mengistu, Abera’s brother, said a change in attitude is necessary to make progress in this matter.

“We made a mistake when we remained silent,” he said. “I am sure that if it was a relative of a Knesset member or of the prime minister – and I do not wish it to anybody – no one would have remained silent.”

Ilan Mengistu explained that the family has remained quiet up to this point because of their manners, and because government officials promised that efforts were being made to advance to secure Abera’s release.

“It seems like this is not a top priority for the government.

The fact that almost three years have passed proves that we were wrong by being quiet.”

Caucus chairman Neguise reiterated Mengistu’s call for action and called on the government to change the way Israel treats Hamas prisoners it holds.

“We shall not remain silent,” said Neguise. “The activists were quiet in order to give the government the room to act, but those days are over. What the government has to do now is immediately halt all the visits of Hamas prisoners’ families in Israeli prisons and stop all humanitarian aid to the organization in Gaza.

It is impossible that Agrenesh and Eilin [Mengistu’s parents] do not know if their son is alive while the terrorists’ families from Hamas are visiting here with Israeli assistance.”

Neguise also criticized international aid organizations on what he sees as their hypocrisy.

“If those human rights organizations are only working for the well-being of the residents of Gaza and ignore a mentally- ill Israeli who is being held there, we can assume that they do not really care.”

MK Oren Hazan (Likud) blamed the government for not acting on the matter, calling the lack of action racist.

“If his name was not Abera and he was not black we would have seen this country on fire,” he said. “We should not wait for an inclusive agreement with the Palestinians in order to release him. We just need to be tougher on Hamas.”

Hazan also said that government officials who claim they have been acting behind the scenes to return Mengistu – are lying. “When I was a member of the Foreign Affairs and Diplomacy Committee, they never mentioned their efforts on this matter, not even once.”

He said. “They are fooling us and taking advantage of the family’s innocence.”

MK Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Union) said that he didn’t think twice before joining the initiative because of its moral values.

“I never had a doubt whether to join a caucus that is set to help a man that was forgotten by most people,” he said.

“This [returning Mengistu] is not a humanitarian act, but an obligatory act, by the government that is responsible to its citizens. We all grew up with the Jewish moral idea that the state is not leaving behind someone who was abducted. But it seems that that state forgets its morals when it is a citizen of Ethiopian descent.”

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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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Antisemitism/Argentina. The increase in antisemitic incidents is “fierce”

Agencia AJN.- The Asociation of Israeli Delegations in Argentina (DAIA) qualifies as «fierce» the increase in the number of antisemitic incidents in Argentina, after the anual report over the 107 percent increase during 2018 in comparation with the previous year.





Agencia AJN.- This way was how the president of DAIA, Jorge Knoblovits, present today the details of the anual report of antisemitism, in a reunion realized in the Centro Cultural Kirchner of Buenos Aires.

Anyway, the communitarian leader said that “It is not fierce only in Argentina, it is fierce worldwide”.

“I start with an autocritic: with the results of the investigation and the results of the center of social studies, the increment of heat speeches and antisemitic acts that DAIA registerd, I think we hadn´t done enough for the memory and fighting the hate speeches beacuse the increase is fierce”, added Knoblovits after presenting the document.

Also, he remarks that “in Europe, reciently The Economist determines that 34 percent of europeans, where Shoa took place and where 6 millions died, dosen’t registres what Holocaust is”.

“In Argentina, being antisemitic and discriminating is a crime. He is punished by the Law. It is a great achievement, beacuse the communities live in peace and we know that discrimination is a crime”, highlighted the president of DAIA.

In this track, he describes that the increase of 107 percent had impulsed DAIA to develope “an app for people to can denunce this acts, not only antisemitic, any time of discrimination”.

“Also, whe put totems in subway, bus and train station, and in shopping for people to register that there is a place for register the denunces that are wecolme», afirms.

Knoblovits sustain that “many of the denunces” recibed where judicialized. “The sensation that I have is that we give judicial fight, but we are losing the culture fight. That’s the battle that we don’t want to lose. Inside the culture field, we are gonna do everything possible so we don’t have never again discrimination acts in Argentina, or at least those are gonna be fighted by us”, concluded.

Following the report, there had been 834 antisemitic acts in 2018, in comparation with the 404 reported in 2017.

The estadistics and investigation will be presented by DAIA and INADI (National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism).

The anual report of antisemitism was realized by DAIA with the Gino Germani Institute and the Center of Social Studies.

This year is the number 20 since the fisrt anual report published by the political organization of the argentinian jewish community, that stablished that practice in 1998.

Report shows that 68% of the incidents had place in Buenos Aires, and 32% where in the rest of the country. About the 834 reported incidents, DAIA said that 71% happend online, mostly in web sites, and 17% of that number appeares in social networks.

The report also shows that 27% of antisemitic material online had xenophobia against jews, while 18% was pushed by the events that took place in Middle East, 17% had relation with nazi simbology and jewish world domination conspiracy among other misconceptions.

Gino Germani Insitute present a poll of social perceptions of Jews in Argentina.

The poll shows that 53% of 1443 people interviewed agrees that there is discrimination against jews, while 87% didn’t know what it was the zionism.

The Report remarks that 61% agreed with the antisemitic prejudice of the «influence» of jews in international markets and 47% belives that jews are the first in not helping people in need.

The information for this poll was collected between June and July of this year.

In the presentation of the report, will join Knoblovits, the president of the Conferencia Episcopal Argentina y the bishop of San Isidro Monseñor Oscar Ojea, Néstor Cohen, who runs the investigation of Gino Germani Institute, the director of Social Center, Marisa Braylan and one of the principal investigatores, Verónica Constantino.

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