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December 09, 1977 - Image 62

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1977-12-09

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62 Friday, December 9, 1977 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Jewish Situation Is Deteriorating in Argentina



Director, Latin American Affairs De-
partment, Anti-
Defamation League of Bnai Brith
(Copyright 1977, .TTA, Inc.)

Two negative trends have
in significant measure off-
set positive developments
affecting the Argentine Jew-
ish community during the
year: The intimidation
of Jewish community lead-
ers and anti-Semitism with-
in the security-panel sys-
Last month, the govern-
ment announced that Ja-
cobo Timerman, one of the
most prominent members of
the Jewish community, has
been deprived of his civil
rights and will be detained
in prison indefinitely, with-
out charges, His property
has been placed in state
custody. This most recent
development came as a

to those who believed
that Timerman, the editor-
publisher of La Opinion,
would soon be released
from prison because two
courts had found no cause
for his seven-month deten-
The Timerman case has
had a shattering effect upon
the entire Jewish commu-
nity. Under Timerman's di-
rection, La Opinion, one of
Buenos Aires leading
dailies, did battle with Ar-
gentine anti-Semitism and
championed the cause of Zi-
onism and Israel. Now,
Timerman is silenced and
his paper controlled and run
by the army. That a world-
famous journalist could be
dealt with in this manner
suggests to Jewish leaders
that a similar fate could
also be theirs, if they are
too outspoken.
In June, Jacobo Kovad-

loff, the director of the Ar-
gentine office of the Ameri-
can Jewish Committee,
received threatening phone
calls warning him that
"...if he does not leave the
country the same thing that
happened to Timerman will
happen to him."
Kovadloff fled the coun-
try, followed several days
later by his wife and chil-
dren. When officials of the
AJCornmittee subsequently
closed the office, the Jewish
community was the weaker.
A frontal attack on the
leadership of the Jewish
community occurred sev-
eral months ago when
agents kidnapped the adult
son of Dr. Nehemias Res-
nizky, the president of
DAIA, the representative
body of Argentine Jewry.
First public mention of the
kidnapping appeared in an
anti-Semitic right-wing



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deluged by pleas for help
coming from relatives and
friends of Argentine citizens
who have either dis-
appeared or are being held
for long periods of time
without formal charges
against them. There is no
indication that Jews are
being singled out for arrest,
but the dimensions of the
problem are so huge th2t
hundreds of Jews are afft
ed. Some estimates as to tk....
total number of disappeared
in Argentina range up to

So long as the Argentine
government, as a matter of
policy, permits security
agents dressed in civilian
clothing to routinely kidnap
individuals and hold them
indefinitely without ac-
knowledging that they are
prisoners, the security of all
Argentine citizens will be
tenuous. Jews will be in
greater peril because of the
prevalence of anti-Semitic
sentiment among members
of the security services.

Mickey Katz Story a Delightful
Portrait of Entertaining Family

a subscription to

City _

gentina. The ban was effec-
magazine, Cabildo, which
tive for only two months, so
said that Renizkv's father
the magazine is again free
"would not be able to con-
tinue with his campaign . to foment anti-Jewish pre-
denouncing anti-Semitism in
A very promising devel-
the Argentine government."
opment occurred in mid-Oc-
It took three days to secure
tober when the government
his release, after which he
proposed the legal prohibi-
left the country.
tion of anti-Semitism. Look-
It is obvious that the Time-
ing back upon the events of
rman, Kovadloff and Res-
the past year it is apparent
nizky cases have had a chill-
that the Argentine govern-
ing effect on Jewish
ment is sensitive to the is-
leadership. Less apparent,
sue of anti-Semitism and
but also disconcerting, is
has taken some measures to
the fact that the kidnap and
deal with the problem. Un-
release of Resnizky has giv-
fortunately, these measures
en rise to some resentment
have generally been late in
and suspicion within the
coming and far less forceful
Jewish community, where
than one would reasonably
people have been heard to
say, "He got his son out,
The Argentine govern-
why not mine?"
ment has also endeavored to
A second cause for con-
assure Jews, at home and
cern is the prevalence of
abroad, that it is not anti-
anti-Semitism within the
security-prison system.
Despite the assurances,
Jews are interrogated about
negative trends offset
communal affairs and bi-
the positive developments.
zarre issues such as the
During the past year, the
Protocols of the Elders of
Latin American Af-
Zion and alleged Jewish
fairs Department has been
plans to create a second
Zionist state in Argentina, a
calumny first disseminated
in Argentina four years ago
in a tract called the Andinia
We have reliable informa-
Mickey Katz became the
tion that Jews are also
darling of the theater in
being subjected to more
appreciation for his earthy
cruel physical mistreatment
stories, the Yiddish flavor
than non-Jews who•are pick-
he had given them, the
ed up for investigation.
sense of continuity he gave
Some who have been de-
to his puns with a humor
tained and interrogated by
acquired from parents and
the Argentine security serv-
synagogal environment.
ices have said that elements
It is no wonder that his
of Nazism are prevalent,
autobiography is entitled
including Nazi symbols and
"Papa, Play For Me." It
recordings of Nazi speeches
could also have said "Papa,
and music.
pray with me," because his
As the foregoing trends
background is in his home
have emerged, there have
and in the synagogue.
also been some positive de-
His father was a regular
velopments in " matters af-
consecrant in Hibath Ye-
fecting the Jewish commu-
rushalayim in Cleveland,
nity of Argentina. When the
and Mickey was there with
U.S. House of Representa-
him. His father loved sto-
tives Subcommittee on
ries and Mickey repeated
International Organizations
them and embellished them
held hearings on Human
for his audiences.
Rights in Argentina in Sep-
Mickey was more than a
tember 1976, the Anti-Defa-
Borscht Belt genius. He is
mation League offered testi-
an American with a Yiddish
mony on anti-Semitism in
influence and one who ab-
At that time, we de-
sorbed' the tales he had
scribed an 18-month series
heard and the Mame Loshen
of bombings of synagogues
he loved. Therefore, Mickey
and Jewish communal
was able to transmit the
buildings and other violent
flavor of song, dance and
manifestations of anti-Semi-
story he had acquired from
tism., We also reported on
a parental influence to an
the proliferation of Nazi
admiring audience.
books, in Spanish trans-
"Papa, Play for Me," the
lation, and other anti-Semi-
Katz story as told to
tic propaganda.
Hannibal Coons (Simon and
Since October 19'76, there
Schuster), is the story of a
have been few bombings
family of entertainers. His
and the volume of Nazi lit-
father was the humorist
erature has been reduced.
whose stories rallied the fel-
Although the Nazi •books are
low worshippers in Hibath
still available, successive
Yerushalayim. His mother
government decrees or-
matched his father. And it
dered the seizure of some
is a mark of fame that
titles and closed several
Mickey's son, Joel Grey, be-
publishing houses that pro-
one of the sensations
duced Nazi tracts. The gov-
on Broadway and in Holly-
ernment also imposed mod-
wood, in "Cabaret" and oth-
est sanctions against the
er successes.
anti-Semitic magazine Cabi•
That Joel Grey should
Ido, which used the "Grai-
written an in-
ver case" as a vehicle for
troductory praise for his fa-
branding the entire Argen-
ther and that George Burns
tine Jewish community as
should be commending his
part of a Zionist-Marxist-
colleague for his biograph-
Montonero plot against Ar-


Zip Code ._, _


ical success is not a sur-
prise. Mickey apparently
earned the acclaim and his
life's story attests to it.
The Mickey Katz expe-
riences as related on in
"Papa, Play for Me," his
early struggles, the pit-
tances for which he worked
and the recognition he final-
ly attained—all are part of
the total story in a biogra-
phy his appreciative au-
diences will applaud in print
as when they saw him on


Lenore Cowen, 52

Lenore Cowen, a member
of Jewish women's and
communal organizations,
died Dec. 1 at age 52.
A native Detroiter, Mrs.
Cowen was a member of
Cong. Beth Abraham Hillel
Moses, Hadassah and Wom-
en's American ORT.
She leaves her husband,
Dr. Samuel; two sons,
Stanley and Sheldon; a
daughter, Mrs. Elliott (Ju-
dith) Greenberg; three sis-
ters, Mrs. Harry (Fara)
Riche, Mrs. Aaron (Ger-
trude) Katzman and Mrs.
IVIarvin (Joyce) Weintraub;
and two grandchildren.

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