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August 14, 1981 - Image 23

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-08-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE , 1)ETRO T

Timerman Made Public Issue
of Human Rights in Argentina

By RABBI MORTON
ROSENTHAL

Latin American Affairs
Department of the
Anti-Defamation
League of Bnia Brith



NEW YORK (JTA) —
Jacobo Timerman has ren-
D dared a great service to all
concerned with the protec-
tion of human rights in
Argentina and around the
• world.
Robert Cox, former editor
of the Buenos Aires Herald,
claims that Timerman did
•what many had thought
impossible, "he made the
per of the United States
Argentina."
By
BTV_
stimulating wide-
• spread interest in human
rights and making- it an
; =;-7 issue for political debate,
Timerman has earned both
lavish praise and scathing
personal criticism. One
prominent conservative
lir questioned his stability and
j-udgment and another chal-
lenged his honesty.
Criticism of Timerman
• has resonated within the
Jewish communities of
the United States and
I Argentina, where it was
suggested that Timerman
was endangering the
• Jews of Argentina by
' exaggerating the gravity
of the problem.
Subtly, the criticism fo-
cused public attention on
the person of TimerMan and
diverted it from the real is-
, sues. Timerman is not the
issue; he is a messenger who
t has dramatically brought to
' the attention of the world
) problems that should con-
cern us all. Primary among
• them are the massive and
consistent violations of.
human rights in Argentina
and anti-Semitism, espe-
cially the special treatment _
meted out to Jews while
) under detention in Argen-
tina.

?

I

I

There is little room for
debate on these issues and
no reason to doubt Timer-
man's first-hand report.
Gross and persistent viola-
tions of human rights in
Argentina during the past
five years have been re-
ported by our State De-
partment and many re-
spected international and
national organizations.
The most thorough docu-
ment, a 266-page "Report on
the Situation of Human
Rights in Argentina," was
published last year by the
Inter-American Commis-
sion on Human Rights
(IACHR), an agency of the
Organization of American
States.
After exhaustive investi-
gations, which included a
two-week on-site visit to
Argentina, the commission
concluded that "numerous
serious violations of human
rights . . . were committed
in the Republic of Argen-
tina" from 1975 to 1979.
Its investigation of the
disappearance of
thousands of Argentines
led to the finding that
many men and women
were killed after they
were detained by "per-
sons belonging to or con-
nected with government
security agencies" and
that the "systematic use
of torture and other
cruel, inhuman and de-
grading treatment . . . has
taken on alarming char-
acteristics." The report
also cited limitations on
personal freedom and the
right to a fair trial and
due process.

The Reagan Administra-
tion has publicly committed
itself to a strong human
rights policy. The recent
testimony on human rights
policy by a key State De-
partment official could have

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been written by a represen-
tative of the Carter Ad-
ministration. Walter Stoes-
sel Jr., Under Secretary of
State for Political Affairs,
told the House Subcommit-
tee on Human Rights and
International Organiza-
tions that the Administra-
tion's commitment to
human rights is an integral
element of foreign policy.
"Under this Administra-
tion, the protection and
enhancement of human
rights . . . shapes the fun-
damental purposes and
helps define the context of
our international relation-
ships. This commitment to
human rights, like our
entire foreign policy, is an
expression of values deeply
held by the American
people themselves."
The ill-fated nomination
of Dr. Ernest Lefever
sparked controversy over
the nature and extent of
America's commitment to
human rights. The Ad-
ministration could quell
this controversy by
promptly filling the long
vacant post of Assistant
Secretary of State for
Human Rights and
Humanitarian Affairs with
an individual who, with
strong White House sup-
port, can persuade the citi-
zens of the United States as
well as the rulers of both
"authoritarian" and "to-
talitarian" regimes that our
foreign policy is and will be
true to those values so de-
eply held by the American
people.

American Doctor
Seeks Witnesses
to War Crimes

JERUSALEM (JNI) —
An 84-year-old American is
in Israel seeking witnesses
against two alleged Nazis
living in the U.S.
Although closed for lack
of evidence, the U.S. courts
are willing to resume de-
naturalization and deporta-
tion proceedings if adequate
testimony is provided.
The American Jewish
Congress will coordinate
Dr. Charles Kremer's
search as director of the
Committee to Bring Nazi
War Criminals to Justice,
gather . written evidence
and, if necessary, transport
witnesses to the U.S. to tes-
tify.
Dr. Kremer was the cata-
lyst for the start of U.S. de-
naturalization proceedings
against Romanian Arch-
bishop Valerian Trifa of
Grass Lake, Mich. His case
is pending before the U.S.
Court of Appeals in Cincin-
nati.

Honorary Citizen

TEL AVIV — Dr. George
S. Wise, chancellor of Tel
Aviv University, has been
awarded honorary citizen-
ship of Tel Aviv-Jaffa by
Shlomo Lahat, mayor of Tel
Aviv-Jaffa. Dr. Wise was
the first president of the
university and a driving
force in its rapid develop-
ment.

NEWS

IN 14 198

Legal Problems- of Jewish Deaf Topic of Seminar

JERUSALEM (JNI) —
Whether Jewish law per-
mits the use of a hearing aid
on the Sabbath and the
validity of negotiation,
marriage or divorce by a
deaf person were among the
topics discussed at the sec-
ond international conven-
tion of deaf Jews in
Jerusalem last week. De-
signed to bring deaf Jews in
the Diaspora closer to Is-
rael, conference sessions
were conducted in various
spoken and sign langauges.
The deaf, considered le-
gally incompetent by
Jewish tradition, "tend to
assimilate even more
rapidly than other Jews,"
explained Isahar Goldrath,
director of the Israel Asso-

ciation for the Deaf. "In
many countries, services for
the deaf are provided by
churches with missionary

motives." Religious educa-
tion is not provided to deaf
Jewish children, according
to Goldrath.

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