Twenty Years after a Deadly Attack, Argentina has Abandoned its Jews

The 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires killed 85 people and wounded hundreds more. After interminable blundering, the Argentine government named five Iranian citizens as its prime suspects, but then made public a preposterous solution that compromises Argentinian sovereignty and ensures that those responsible will not be brought to justice. To add insult to injury, President Cristina Kirchner used her recent UN speech to criticize not Iran but Argentinian Jewry.

The reasons behind this abandonment of justice are several, writes Eamonn MacDonagh, but uniformly ugly. Among them are

the “anti-imperialist” and anti-American beliefs that are common in many strata of Argentine society, and particularly close to the hearts of some elements of the government’s political base. Those who hold such beliefs are inclined to have feelings towards the Iranian regime that range from a sneaking respect to frank admiration. Iran, they tell themselves, stands up to the arrogance of American power and is the sworn enemy of a nation which many of them regard as the acme of evil, i.e., Israel.

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Read more at Tower

More about: Anti-Semitism, Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, Hizballah, Iran

The Arab Press Blames Iran Rather Than Israel for Gaza’s Woes

Following the fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad over the weekend, many journalists and commentators in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia didn’t rush to condemn the Jewish state. Instead, as the translators at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) note, they criticized the terrorist group for “operating in service of Iranian interests and thus inflicting suffering on the Gaza Strip’s residents.” One Saudi intellectual, Turki al-Hamad, wrote the following on Twitter:

It is apparent that, if at one time any confrontation between Israel and the Palestinian organizations would attract world and Arab attention and provoke a wave of anger [against Israel], today it does not shock most Arabs and most of the world’s [countries]. Furthermore, even a sense of human solidarity [with the Palestinians] has become rare and embarrassing, raising the question, “Why [is this happening] and who is to blame?”

I believe that the main reason is the lack of confidence in all the Palestinian leaders. . . . From the Arabs’ and the world’s perspective, it is already clear that these leaders are manipulating the [Palestinian] cause out of self-interest and diplomatic, economic, or even personal motives, and that the Palestinian issue is completely unconnected to this. The Palestinian cause has become a bargaining chip in the hands of these and other organizations and states headed by the [Iranian] ayatollah regime.

A, article in a major Arabic-language newspaper took a similar approach:

In a lengthy front-page report on August 7, the London-based UAE daily Al-Arab criticized Islamic Jihad, writing that “Gaza again became an arena for the settling of accounts between Iran and Israel, while the Palestinian citizens are the ones paying the price.” It added that Iran does not want to confront Israel directly for its bombings in Syria and its attacks on Iranian scientists and nuclear facilities.

“The war in Gaza is not the first, nor will it be the last. But it proves . . . that Iran is exploiting Gaza as it exploits Lebanon, in order to strengthen its hand in negotiations with the West. We all know that Iran hasn’t fired a single bullet at Israel, and it also will not do this to defend Gaza or Lebanon.”

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Read more at MEMRI

More about: Gaza Strip, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israel-Arab relations, Persian Gulf