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

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.

Read more at Tower

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


Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security