Argentine foreign minister: Israel... “encourages anti-Semitism"
Hector Timerman has caused a fresh diplomatic problems for his country by claiming Israel "encourages anti-Semitism".
Hector Timerman, the hypocritical Argentinian foreign minister who earlier this week claimed the UK should heed UN calls for talks over the Falklands, has caused a fresh diplomatic problems for his country by claiming Israel "encourages anti-Semitism".
The statement was apparently made during a "difficult and unpleasant" meeting with Israel's ambassador to Argentina, in which the issue of the 1994 Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) bombing was raised.
Iran and Argentina have recently been co-operating in a fresh investigation into the bombings, which critics have claimed is Iran's attempt to shift blame away from its proxy, Hezbollah, over the atrocity which killed 85 people and injured around 300.
Timerman is reported to have remarked that Israel should stay out of Argentina's business, even though, hypocritcally, Iran seems to have a large stake in the matter. The foreign minister apparently stated that Israel’s interest in the bombing “encourages anti-Semitism” by implying Jewish Argentinians have split loyalties - an anti-Semitic trope in itself.
Iran and Argentina have agreed to create a "truth commission" to investigate the 1994 bombing of AMIA, the Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires.
"Israel has no right to demand explanations; we're a sovereign state," Timerman reportedly told Shavit. "Israel doesn't speak in the name of the Jewish people and doesn't represent it. Jews who wanted or want to live in Israel moved there, and they are its citizens; those who live in Argentina are Argentine citizens. The attack was against Argentina, and Israel's desire to be involved in the issue only encourages anti-Semitism from those who accuse Jews of dual loyalty."
Shavit responded angrily, according to sources. "As the Jewish state, Israel views itself as responsible to some degree for the welfare of [all] Jews and tracks anti-Semitism worldwide," she reportedly told Timerman. "Therefore, it helped Jews leave the Soviet Union, brought Jews from Ethiopia and, at times, also helped Jews in Argentina. You surely know what I'm talking about," she apparently added, referring to the fact that Timerman's own father was Jewish.
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