Argentina Turns away from the Democracies, and Back toward Iran

Nov. 20 2019

During the tenure of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as president, which ended in 2015, Argentina stymied efforts to investigate Hizballah’s 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish community center (AMIA), orchestrated by the Islamic Republic, which it refused to hold accountable. Alberto Nisman, the federal prosecutor assigned to the case, was murdered. But in 2015 Mauricio Macri won the presidency, pledged to continue the investigation, and moved his country away from Tehran. Macri, however, lost the recent election, and on December 10 the new president, Alberto Fernandez, will take office—with Cristina Kirchner as his vice-president. Ben Cohen comments:

[T]he two are neither married nor related, though Alberto Fernandez did serve as chief of staff to Cristina during her time as Argentine president from 2007 to 2015. The more pertinent factor to wrap one’s head around, perhaps, is the prospect that Cristina’s former policy of genuflecting to the Iranian regime and its associated terrorist groups will be revived. [There is therefore reason to suspect that the new president’s] goal will in part be to shield the vice-president from scrutiny concerning her alleged role in Nisman’s murder, which occurred just hours before [Nisman] was due to appear before the Argentine Congress to disclose a formal complaint against Kirchner for colluding with the Iranian regime.

One significant indication of [the incoming administration’s] direction emerged over the weekend, when Fernandez hosted a meeting in Buenos Aires of the Grupo de Puebla (“Group of the People”), a newly formed regional grouping that includes Mexico, Uruguay, and other left-oriented governments in Latin America, . . . deliberately intended to rival the center-right “Lima Group” of countries that includes Colombia, Guatemala, and, for the moment, Argentina.

The dramatic divide in the worldview of these two groupings has been on display in two current regional crises. . . . With regard to both [Venezuela and Bolivia], Fernandez took the side of authoritarian left-wing leaders against their democratic opponents. Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Cristina Kirchner, and the late [Venezuelan leader] Hugo Chávez are among the Latin American leaders to have enabled and encouraged Iran’s exploitation of Latin America as an illicit-financing hub for its terrorist networks. A few weeks [before the beginning of his] presidential term, Alberto Fernandez is sending the signal that this is another leadership group he intends to join.

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More about: Alberto Nisman, AMIA bombing, Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, Iran, Latin America

Condemning Terrorism in Jerusalem—and Efforts to Stop It

Jan. 30 2023

On Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire at a group of Israelis standing outside a Jerusalem synagogue, killing seven and wounding several others. The day before, the IDF had been drawn into a gunfight in the West Bank city of Jenin while trying to arrest members of a terrorist cell. Of the nine Palestinians killed in the raid, only one appears to have been a noncombatant. Lahav Harkov compares the responses to the two events, beginning with the more recent:

President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce the attack, offer his condolences, and express his commitment to Israel’s security. Other leaders released supportive statements as well. Governments across Europe condemned the attack. Turkey’s foreign ministry did the same, as did Israel’s Abraham Accords partners the UAE and Bahrain. Even Saudi Arabia released a statement against the killing of civilians in Jerusalem.

It feels wrong to criticize those statements. . . . But the condemnations should be full-throated, not spoken out of one side of the mouth while the other is wishy-washy about what it takes to stave off terrorism. These very same leaders and ministries were tsk-tsking at Israel for doing just that only a day before the attacks in Jerusalem.

The context didn’t seem to matter to some countries that are friendly to Israel. It didn’t matter that Israel was trying to stop jihadists from attacking civilians; it didn’t matter that IDF soldiers were attacked on the way.

It’s very easy for some to be sad when Jews are murdered. Yet, at the same time, so many of them are uncomfortable with Jews asserting themselves, protecting themselves, arming themselves against the bloodthirsty horde that would hand out bonbons to celebrate their deaths. It’s a reminder of how important it is that we do just that, and how essential the state of Israel is.

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Read more at Lahav’s Newsletter

More about: Jerusalem, Palestinian terror