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February 05, 1982 - Image 21

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-02-05

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Peru: Anti-Semitism and the PLO


(Copyright 1982, JTA, Inc.)

Various PLO materials
are distributed by Com-
munist groups in the uni-
versities; some of them use
bulletin boards for PLO
propaganda and virulent
attacks on Zionism and Is-
For more than a year now,
there has been a daily
transmission on Radio
Santa Rosa of "The Palesti-
nian Voice," a program
which spews out anti-
Semitic poison, splashed
with songs and words of
support for the "movements
of national liberation in
Latin America."
Besseiso attended the fes-
tivities in the town of Ica
connected with the grape
harvest. He was welcomed
by the mayor of the city and
asked to sign the "Book of
Illustrious Guests." The
PLO was also invited to par-
ticipate in the XVII Con-
gress of the Federation of
Peruvian Students, which
took place in June at the
University of San Marcos.
Also worth mentioning
is the invitation by the or-
thodox Communist Party
to the PLO representa-
tive in Lima, who spoke
to union leaders and was
introduced by Gustavo
Espinoza, secretary of in-
ternational relations
with the Communist
There is no doubt that the

Anti-Semitism in Peru
has never been official pol-
icy. Peruvian governments
have traditionally re-
spected the Jewish minority
and have always been will-
ing to listen to community
leaders who denounced
anti-Semitic acts and atti-
Today, living in a democ-
Peru's Jewish minor-
(5,000 people) enjoys full
'____ghts and the government
maintains friendly rela-
tions with its community
Anti-Semites in Peru,
however, have adopted an
anti-Zionist position. Thus,
anti-Semitism is now rooted
in Peru's extreme leftist
groups which have em-
braced numerous anti-
Zionist positions, while
pro-Nazi groups have freely
expressed their anti-Jewish
accusations that went as far
as casting aspersions on the
Jewish religion.
. Peru has authorized
the setting up of a Pales-
tine Liberation Organiza-
tion office. Its represen-
tative, Issam Besseiso,
works tenaciously with
both left and rightwing
extremists in an effort to
disseminate anti-Israel
propaganda. They have
an enormous budget.
Not long ago, members of
parliament traveled to
Lebanon and had inter-
views with PLO leader
Yasir Arafat, who moder-
ated his views without
NEW YORK — Rabbi
speaking about "extermina- Joseph P. Sternstein,
tion of Israel" and without president of the American
mentioning the Palestinian Zionist Federation, has
Charter. Vigorous protests called upon American
from the Jewish community Jewry and its leaders to
prevented other "junkets" help strengthen Israel's
from taking place.
position among the Ameri-
A TV program conducted can people and in the media.
by a Peruvian journalist
Speaking before a meet-
who interviewed Arafat for ing of the AZF's Executive
the first time, provoked a Committee, Rabbi Sterns-
tempest which lasted for tein noted that "there are
several weeks. The Jewish several important issues
community put out an offi- which must be addressed
cial statement denying the without delay by the
accusations of "Jewish in- American Jewish leader-
tervention in freedom of the ship and warrant the full
press," and condemning the
increasing wave of anti- Levin Praises
Semitism in the country. A
community leader, Eduardo CJF Citrin
Bigio, appeared on TV with
a panel of journalists and work of Jewish federations
answered all of the accusa- in meeting communal
tions and published threats. needs, assisted through
Besseiso, the PLO repre- coordinated planning by the
sentative, has traveled Council of Jewish Federa-
throughout Peru setting up tions, has won praise from
committees in support of the U.S. Senator Carl Levin
Palestinian cause. He was (D-Mich.).
received royally in
Arequipa, whose mayor is a throughout the country
mmunist, while in the have provided direct highly
d rthern city of Piura, his
professional volunteer
presence and activity leadership . . . which has
caused the mayor to resign. met the needs of the Jewish
His visit to Ayacucho, community as well as the
one of the centers of na- non-Jewish community in
tional terrorism, was which the agencies are lo-
criticized by the news- cated," Levin said in a Se-
paper "Opinion Libre," nate speech. He pointed to
which said that the PLO the role played by the Coun-
in Peru "is carrying out cil of Jewish Federations,
`unholy' activities before noting that CJF is currently
the eyes of our celebrating its 50th an-
authorities." It added niversary.
that the PLO has ex-
He also praised the selec-
pressed a desire to sup- tion of Detroiter Martin
port "liberation move- Citrin as the new CJF
ments" in Latin America. president.

presence of the PLO in Peru
is a decisive factor in
strengthening anti-
Semitism. In addition, there
are Nazi publications which
incite racial hatred —
"TeMple" (Temper) and
"Trinchera 88" (Trench 88),
as well as Communist
newspapers and ultra-
leftist magazines which
promote terrorism and at-
tacks against Israel and
The democratic parties,
Accion Popular, Apra and
Partido Popular Cristiano,
maintain support for Israel
and the Zionist movement.
The Catholic Church also
has a fraternal relationship
with the Jewish commu-
The attendance this year
— for the first time in the
history of the 100-year-old
Jewish community in Peru
— of the president of the re-
public at Rosh Hashana
services is significant.
President Belaunde Terry's
words were full of affection
and revealed that the pre-
sent democratic regime will
not permit attacks on any
persons on religious or ra-
cial grounds.
The Jewish community of
Peru, though small in num-
bers, is well organized and
is very conscious of its role
in supporting Israel and
Zionism. It is on a continu-
ous state of alert and united

Friday, February 5, 1982 21

U.S. Threatens UN Sanctions

against anti-Semitic at-
tacks whose inspiration,
financing and guidance
come from outside the coun-

The U.S. threatened Wed-
nesday to drastically reduce
its financial support of the
UN if a Syrian-sponsored
resolution to oust Israel

from the General Assembly
is adopted.

Open covenants of peace
openly arrived at.
— Woodrow Wilson

Sternstein Tells AZF 'We
Must Join Israel PR Fight'

mobilization of our educa-
tional and public relations
efforts on behalf of Israel."
The most important was
the increasing perception of
Israel as a burden, both fi-
nancially and diplomati-
cally, for the United States.
If a such a misconception
becomes acceptable, then
"America would seek to dis-
engage itself from past and
future commitments to the
Jewish state.
To avoid this, Rabbi
Sternstein said that the
Jewish community must
educate the American
people and the Reagan
Administration to recog-
nize that Israel "repre-
sents a crucial and indis-
pensable strategic ally
for the interests of the
United States and in the
Middle East . . . provid-
ing America with vital
services." These include
not only a loyalty to
Western democratic
ideals, but also such con-
crete assets as an effec-
tive intelligence and mili-
tary force which serves to
counter the heavy Soviet
presence in the area.
Rabbi Sternstein also
warned against the growing
U.S. reliance — and depen-
dence — on Saudi Arabia.




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Tappe d


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reported that a secret U.S.
document claims the U.S.
would be greatly
strengthened if it used Is-
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military units if necessary.

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