Argentine Jewish Leader Urges Newly-Elected President Alberto Fernandez Not to Abandon Regional Push Against Iran, Hezbollah
A prominent leader of the Jewish community in Argentina has urged newly-elected President Alberto Fernandez to continue the policy of his predecessor in opposing the penetration of Latin America by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its Lebanese terrorist proxy Hezbollah.
Speaking at a dinner last Thursday night to mark the 125th anniversary of the establishment of AMIA — the Jewish community center in the capital, Buenos Aires — the institution’s president, Ariel Eichbaum, praised the decision of Mauricio Macri, Fernandez’s immediate predecessor, for his “brave step” in adding Hezbollah to the country’s list of proscribed terrorist organizations in July this year.
“All free nations in the region must continue strengthening the work to condemn terrorism, denounce their actions and eliminate their sources of financing,” Eichbaum said.
Eichbaum also reminded Fernandez that AMIA had been directly impacted by Iranian-backed terrorism; in July 1994, an explosives-laden van driven by a Hezbollah operative smashed into the AMIA building in downtown Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and wounding 300.
“The history of AMIA has left, as everyone knows, a scar that is impossible to hide,” Eichbaum said. “On July 18, 1994, fundamentalist terrorism chose us, a Jewish and Argentine institution, as a target, destroying an emblem of solidarity and of helping others, and killing 85 victims.”
A former chief of staff to ex-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner — who now serves as vice president — Fernandez’s election has raised concern in the US and Israel that Argentina will revert to the pro-Iranian foreign policy pursued before Macri was elected in 2015.