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November 17, 2017 12:12 pm

Top US Civil Rights Group Denounces Antisemitic Smears of Prominent Argentine Jews

avatar by Ben Cohen

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Former Argentine deputy Leopoldo Moreau attacks Jewish parliamentarian Waldo Wolff on live television. Photo: Screenshot.

The Anti-Defamation League expressed solidarity with Argentina’s Jewish community on Thursday, following two incidents in the South American country over the last week in which prominent Jewish public figures were targeted with antisemitic smears and insults.

On Monday night, Argentine journalist Alfredo Leuco was allegedly called a “f___ Jew” after being honored at a radio awards ceremony in Buenos Aires. Video of the event showed Leuco — a controversial broadcaster who once accused former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of “dynamiting the country’s future” — returning to his table with his family to a mix of applause and whistles after receiving his prize. Leuco’s son confronted one of the hecklers before being restrained by friends.

The Leuco incident followed outrage over a television panel discussion on Sunday night in which a leading Jewish parliamentarian, Waldo Wolff, was depicted as a “Mossad agent” more loyal to Israel than his own country.

Former Radical Party deputy Leopoldo Moreau, a stalwart Kirchner loyalist, accused Wolff during the live segment of “hiding behind the Holocaust to justify his own anti-Argentine decisions,” adding later on that “using the Holocaust against your own country’s interests  is as bad as denying it.” Moreau also charged that Wolff was “foreignizing” Argentina’s Jewish community by connecting the Jewish faith with the State of Israel.

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On the same TV show, Wolff declared that Moreau’s comments were “antisemitic” and “Nazi.”

Wolff has been a leading voice in Argentina in demanding that Kirchner and her associates come clean about the secret pact negotiated with Iran to absolve the Tehran regime of its responsibility for the July 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were killed and hundreds more wounded.

Sharon Nazarian — the ADL’s senior vice president of international affairs — declared in a statement that the organization stands “in solidarity with the leadership of the Argentinian Jewish community, and their categorical rejection of these base statements.”

Nazarian quoted the comment of Ariel Cohen Sabban — president of Argentina’s Jewish representative organization, DAIA — saying in response to the attack on Wolff, that “in the Argentina of today, in the Argentina that we choose to live in, there is no place for discriminatory expressions or charges of dual loyalty that perpetuate classic antisemitism.”

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