The Fall of Cristina Kirchner and the Limits of Argentine Anti-Semitism

Dec. 16 2015

The outgoing Argentinian president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, deliberately impeded the investigation into the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center—in part, argues Eamonn MacDonagh, out of anti-Semitism. But while this may have helped bolster her popularity, it wasn’t enough to keep her party in control of the government:

The death of [her husband and predecessor] Nestor Kirchner in October 2010 precipitated the beginning of a shift toward Iran in Argentina’s foreign policy and a radicalization of Cristina Kirchner’s rhetoric. This was based on a conspiratorial worldview that saw Argentina as the victim of plots by mysterious global forces, many of them led by Jews. This shift eventually led to the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement with Iran in January 2013, supposedly to investigate the AMIA massacre but in fact designed to guarantee impunity for the wanted Iranians. This was accompanied, on the part of Fernández de Kirchner, by frequent mentions of her determination to find out who those really responsible for the massacre were—and the sotto voce implication that the official representative bodies of Argentina’s Jewish community might have had some role in it. The likely murder of [Alberto] Nisman in January this year only exacerbated this rhetoric.

So far this fits well with the classical mold of anti-Semitism, though this isn’t the anti-Semitism of old. . . . With the new anti-Semitism, Jews are welcome to participate as long as they have the right opinions. Fernández de Kirchner appointed Jews to senior cabinet positions, and one of them, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, was a key negotiator of the pact with Iran. . . .

[But] capitalism, whatever else it is, is not a conspiracy, and it’s not a conspiracy run by Jews, either. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner departs from office against a background of roaring inflation, stagnant growth, and central bank reserves at historic lows. So while the emotional satisfaction derived from anti-Semitism is very great, even for some Jews, it’s a poor way of explaining how the world works. The economic catastrophe of the latter years of Kirchnerismo explain the defeat of its candidate, Daniel Scioli, and the triumph of [the newly elected] Mauricio Macri.

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Read more at Tower

More about: Alberto Nisman, AMIA bombing, Anti-Semitism, Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, Iran

 

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism