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April 09, 1976 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-04-09

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2 April 9, 1976


Purely Commentary

Trouble Galore on All Fronts . . . Argentinian Menace
and the Jewish Community . . . State Department
Roles, Kissinger, Scranton in the Limelight of Criticism.

By Philip

No End to Trouble for Argentinian Jewry

All of Latin American Jewry faces a problematic future. Former Nazis have amassed
wealth and are among those who dominate the conditions that have become precarious
there. The situation is especially grave in Argentina.
A new president rules the Argentinians with the ousting of Isabel Martinez de Peron.
And insofar as the 400,000 Jews of that country are concerned it is doubtful whether there
will be any changes in their status, since the effects of the economic developments are
especially drastic in relation to them.
An analysis of the Jewish position in Argentina by the American Jewish Committee
contains these observations:
For many years, the 350,000-400,000 Jews of Argentina — who make up
about half the Jews in Latin America — considered themselves a stable, vibrant
community, perhaps the leading Jewish community in the region. Since the re-
turn of dictator Juan Peron, however, and even more since his death in July 1974
and his wife Isabel's accession to the presidency, Argentina's precarious econ-
omy and the political violence of both right and left have brought the nation to
the edge of chaos; and the Jews are apprehensive.
The institutions of the Jewish community are also weakening steadily.
There has been a drastic drop in religious practice. Authorities estimate that
only 15 to 20 percent of the children are getting some Jewish education.
Assimilation and,intermarriage are widespread among the young, many of
whom are completely uninterested in being part of the Jewish communal struc-
ture. A sizable number are attracted to left-wing ideologies, and are indifferent
to anti-Israel and anti-"Zionist" movements even if most do not actually support
such campaigns. Economic and cultural decline has struck hard at Argentina's
once famous Jewish publishing houses, whose publications in Yiddish and Span-
ish are slowing to a trickle.
Formerly self-supporting Jewish institutions such as the Jewish Hospital,
the Home for the Aged, and the Sociedad Hebraica Argentina (the nation's fore-
most communal organization) are on the verge of bankruptcy, dependent on fi-
nancial aid from the Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency, insti-

No One Immune From
Criticism . . . Kissinger
Gets Share of Criticism
Basic to the libertarian principles is the right to criti-
cize and the compulsion to submit to scrutiny.
Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger is now much
more under attack than he has ever been, even in the crucial
period of negotiations with Sadat, Assad and, the Israeli
leaders. He was under suspicion then as he is now, espe-
cially in view of the Matti Golan expose in "The Secret Con-
versations of Henry Kissinger." Golan is not the first to con-
demn Kissinger and he is not the only one. Now the
Secretary of State is the target of politicians who are after
Gerald Ford's job in the White House.
Will Kissinger survive the onslaught? While all indica-
tions are that he may be out of the major role in the U.S.
government's foreign service, President Ford may find it
necessary to retain him, at least until after the election in
November. Then the big test will be more realistic and the
true Kissinger may become visible.
If the Secretary of State's chief guilt is double talk it is
not new to diplomacy. The Wilsonian warning against
"secret diplomacy secretly arrived at" is as timely — and as
unheeded! — tocfay as it was in the time of President Wood-
row Wilson. Therefore the Kissinger role is the routine dip-
lomatic license which has a spiritual sound but is always
affected either by a quest for power or caution lest the for-
eign affairs expert is overwhelmed by power.
The big question mark attached to the Kissinger image
regards his Jewish attitudes. Would he really forget the
Holocaust whence he and his family escaped, or does the
effect of that memory haunt him when he thinks of Israel's
fate and acts to affect that nation's future?
Kissinger may or may not be with his family at the
Passover Seder. One would imagine that even the great
statesman will not negate an established historical practice
of solidifying family unity on the Passover, at the tradi-
tional night recollecting the triumph over slavery and the
Exodus from Egypt. But on Passover there must come re-
newed admission that the master of America's diplomatic
service is not immune from criticism. By the same token he
must exercise equal rights to reply. Perhaps out of the collo-
quy will emerge the true Kissinger. Not'only Jewry and Is-
rael but all mankind is anxious to know what is in his heart
and how a survivor from the barbarism of his native Ger-
many reacts to his fellow survivors, to the spiritual people-
hood whence he stems and to whom he owes an obligation
of humanism and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit
of happiness.
* *

tutions to which the community atone time contributed generously. There is also
a serious shortage of capable leaders, and many Argentine Jews lament the abs-
ence of adequate representation in their behalf.
There have been some efforts made to reach out to alienated young people.
For example, under the direction of Jacobo Kovadloff, the director of the AJC
South American office, and others, a number of lectures and seminars have been
organized on Jewish history, Israel, interfaith relations and related subjects
geared primarily toward young people. In 1974, the AJC also sponsored courses
on Jewish subjects at the El Salvador Roman Catholic University.
Aside from their internal problems, Argentina's Jews must cope with the
political "anti-Zionism" which has been added to the anti-Semitism of earlier
years. Programs on government-controlled radio and television accuse Jev
disloyalty to the nation; right-wing groups in the fragmented Peronist moven.
charge either that Jews are Marxists or that they are plotting to take over part of
Argentina as a second Jewish state; and the left speaks of Zionist plots in Argen-
tina to help "racists, imperialists and colonialists" in Israel.
Influenced by pro-Fascist Jose Lopez Rega, Mrs. Peron's erstwhile Welfare
Minister, some government elements sought alignment with Arab and Third
World nations; with Lopez Rega out, foreign policy is apparently more balanced.
Argentina opposed Israel's expulsion from the UN at the Lima Conference on
Non-Aligned Countries, and abstained from both the Third Committee and Gen-
eral Assembly votes linking Zionism with racism.
Virtually all major Argentine newspapers emphasized echoes of Nazism in
these resolutions and warned that such moves could destroy the UN. (This atti-
tude may be partly attributed to the fear that an anti-Israel stand might jeopar-
dize prospects for U.S. credits.)
Mere depiction of the Argentinian crisis as "troublesome" for Jews is to be a bit naive.
There are many dangers in that land as well as in neighboring Latin American countries.
As if there isn't enough trouble for Jews on a world scale, the dangers in Argentina seem
to have grown. One must hope that the reactions that have set will be solved by time for all
Argentinians so that Jews may benefit from a more peaceful future there.

ence of any ambassador to the UN. A look into the past, a
study of the tragedy that marked the experiences of Arthur
Goldberg, the pitiful position of Adlai Stevenson, all U. S.
delegates to the UN seemed to have been under influence
that denied them the right of independence. Only Pat Moy-
nihan rebelled, and his end as a Ford-Kissinger spokesman
was inevitable.
That's how things operate at the UN and anywhere else
when the State Department is involved. The orders come
from State and that's final. In the process Kissinger makes
policies. Does he have a heart, and a Jewish spark? Either
time or his own memoirs will eventually tell the tale.

All (Except the U.S.) Against
Israel: Can the Entire World
Be Wrong in Judging Jews?
Fourteen nations voted against Israel at the UN Secu-
rity Council and only the United States registered a veto.
With the exception of this country, it was an unani-
mous vote against Jewry and Israel.
Once again the question is posed: is it possible that the
entire world can be wrong in judging the Jews?
It's an old question and it was confronted bluntly by
the famous Jewish philosopher Ahad HaAm (Asher Gins-
berg) in his essay "Some Consolation" published in 1892.
Ahad HaAm was discussing the ritual murder libel
against Jews and he concluded his expose of the viciousness
of anti-Semitism by stating:

"But" — you ask — "is it possible that every-
body can be wrong, and the Jews right?"
Yes, it is possible: the blood-accusation proves
it possible. Here, you see, the Jews are right and
perfectly innocent. A Jew and blood — could there
be a more complete contradiction? And yet . . .
Indeed, the treatment of Jews through the ages, the
resort to bigotry, the oppressions and especially the ritual
murder lie have proven that the world can be wrong.
The bitterness and the desire to destroy Israel's tiny
home prove the vileness of the international gang-up on

Yes, the UN is proving that the world can be wrong and
Israel stands alone in defending justice.
How grateful not only Jews and Israel but all lovers of
liberty should be to the U.S. for retaining a great role in
defense of justice!

* *

When Does One Boycott,
Who Are. to Be Boycotted?
The U.S. veto of an effort to defame Israel poses an-
other question: Who is to be boycotted in expressing resent-
ment over the maligning of Israel? Should it be Mexico all
over again, and Brazil, or should Britain, France, Sweden,
et. al., be exposed as enemies? So few are the courageous
among the nations — and the U.S. veto has been described
as resulting from Zionist pressures! Why couldn't it be
viewed as an act of decency towards a maligned friend?
Ambassador William Scranton's maiden UN speech
was not a good one. It was filled with misunderstandings
and was repetitive of previous slanders of Israel. Viewing
the developments realistically, it should be admitted and
recognized • that the Scranton rebukes were State Depart-
ment texts and the veto was ordered by the same power. Did
it result from Zionist pressures? Without a just cause Zion-
ism could not have exercised such influence. There are the
friends of Israel and the defenders of a just cause who also
.counted in the fray. "Some consolation!" is the definition
drawn for at least one such victory from the writings of
Ahad HaAm.
Applicable also is the manner in which anti-Semites
have spread the nefarious "Protocols of the Elders of Zion."
That there should still be distributors of these lies at the
present time is a shocking example of the irresponsibility of
Jew-baiters. It had been in circulation very recently in Rus-
sia and the Arab states have utilized it as a weapon against
Israel and Jewry. Only a week ago it was circulated in Can-
ada through the offices of Idi Amin's Ugandan diplomatic
sources, proving again to what extent haters will ge e ' e-
fame Jews.

Scranton's New Tone:
Tragedy of UN Ambassadors
In a sense Kissinger's actions are no more, no less than
a continuity of practices at the State Department. There are
policieS which do not change, and some of those affecting
the Middle East stem from the panic that was generated by
the oil interests and the money- and power-intoxicated
The new tone adopted at the UN by William Scranton

continuity of nressnres that






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