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May 31, 2022 12:25 pm
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Argentine Jews Launch Legal Action Against Far-Left Politician Agitating for Israel to Be ‘Destroyed’

avatar by Ben Cohen

Argentine far-left politician Alejandro Bodart’s tweet equating Zionists with Nazis. Image: Screenshot

An Argentine politician is facing legal action launched by the country’s Jewish community over a series of statements deemed antisemitic and anti-Zionist, including one that called for Israel to be “destroyed.”

A statement on Monday from DAIA, the organizational umbrella representing Argentina’s Jewish community, said that it would be launching legal proceedings against Alejandro Bodart, the secretary general of the extreme left Socialist Workers Movement (MST) — a Trotskyist party that is a component of a wider left front with four deputies in the Argentine parliament.

DAIA insisted that Bodart’s posts on Twitter had violated both Argentina’s own Anti-Discrimination Law and the widely-accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which includes certain expressions of anti-Zionism among its examples.

At issue are two tweets posted by Bodart. On May 11, he posted the meme “Zionists = Nazis,” while on May 15, he denounced what he called “the racist and genocidal state of Israel.” According to the DAIA statement, Bodart’s Twitter posts represented an “attack on peaceful democratic coexistence” that was based on “culturally-rooted prejudices which society should not normalize.”

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Responding to the DAIA statement, Bodart was unrepentant.

“DAIA demands that I ratify or delete within 48 hours the two posts made on my Twitter account,” Bodart said, referring to a letter he received from the Jewish organization’s legal department. “Neither I nor the MST are going to ratify or rectify anything for the DAIA or any other Zionist entity, no matter how many threats they make.” He went on charge that “seeking to silence any critical voice precisely reaffirms the political conviction that authoritarianism is an intrinsic component of Zionism.”

Bodart then asserted that there was no solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians “if the genocidal State of Israel is not destroyed to rebuild the state of Palestine.”

On Tuesday, Bodart took to Twitter again to thank his supporters “for all the solidarity I received in the face of Zionist threats, which seek to silence those of us who denounce the atrocities of the State of Israel. I will continue to defend the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people.”

Argentina’s Jews have become increasingly concerned with manifestations of antisemitism online. According to DAIA’s most recent report in antisemitism in Argentina, covering the period 2019-2020, 90 percent of reported cases occurred in an online environment.

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