Is It Safe to Be Jewish in Argentina?

March 3 2015

The death or likely murder of Alberto Nisman, lead investigator of the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center, is a product of Argentina’s dysfunctional political culture and its ongoing effort to develop closer relations with Iran. But, writes Eamonn MacDonagh, straightforward anti-Semitism also comes into the mix—notwithstanding the fact that foreign minister Héctor Timerman, a driving force behind rapprochement with Iran, is himself Jewish:

Timerman frequently mentions his Jewishness and regards himself as an example of how good things are for Jews in Argentina. In many ways, he’s right about that. He is foreign minister, after all. . . . President [Cristina] Fernández de Kirchner. . . appears to believe that Jewish people are possessed of quasi-magical qualities, making it a good idea to have some of them around. In her initial reaction to Nisman’s death, she asked how anyone could believe that Timerman, who “professes the Jewish faith and is Jewish”—to use her bizarre construction—could possibly have done anything illegal during the negotiations with Iran. Timerman too has never been slow to bring up his Jewish origins whenever the government’s relations with Iran have been questioned. . . .

Nisman was also Jewish, but made no particular fuss about that fact. His enemies, however, never forgot it, and the unceasing flow of death threats he received rarely failed to include a cataract of anti-Semitic abuse. When he went public with grave allegations that the Argentine government had broken the law in order to exculpate the murderers of dozens of its citizens, and had done so through a pact with [Iran,] one of the most anti-Semitic regimes on earth, it didn’t take long for a bullet to end his life.

Read more at Tower

More about: AMIA bombing, Anti-Semitism, Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy