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Attack on Argentine Jews

August 05, 1994

As a human being first and an Argentinian Jew second, I am appalled and shocked in the aftermath of the tragedy that occurred in Buenos Aires July 18. Ninety-six people are dead, most of them Jewish. This is the second attempt against the Jewish community that has occurred in the last two years. At that time the Israeli embassy in Argentina was blown apart, causing severe casualties.

As I talked to some of my relatives and friends, the consensus was that the people of the Jewish community there live in a state of siege. They are afraid to leave their own homes. The silence and lack of preventive measures either by the Argentinian government or Israel create more uncertainty and fear among the community. I wonder how Israel would have reacted if the victims were Israeli Jews rather than Argentinian Jews. Are they afraid to jeopardize the peace treaty with the Arabs?

Should the Argentinian Jews become the martyrs of Israel's peace effort without Israel offering some respite to them by helping them adopt stringent security measures to protect themselves? No peace treaty is worthy when it is marred by the bloodshed of 96 innocent people who happened to be on the opposite side of the earth from Israel.

The Jewish people in Buenos Aires need immediate attention by both the Argentinian and the Israeli governments. It is time for Israel to show that their interest in Jews goes beyond the confines of their own territory.

ENRIQUE J. FRIEDMAN

Fullerton

The obscene terrorists responsible for the bombing of a building housing the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires and the murder of 96 persons have done Israel and true friends of Israel a favor.

For the past 10 months, since the foolish and irresponsible Rabin-Arafat handshake on the White House lawn, the Rabin government has acceded to a long litany of concessions to the Palestinian Arabs, jeopardizing Israel's security and endangering the lives and welfare of more than 140,000 Jewish residents of ancient Jewish territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

This policy of "land for peace," the mantra of the peace movement, is based on the assumption that Israel's peace and security depend primarily on relations with the Palestinian Arabs. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Buenos Aires bombing is a reminder that the real threat to Israel and to Middle East peace lies not in Amman, or Jericho, or Gaza City, but rather in Baghdad and Tehran.

SIDNEY BALDWIN

Emeritus Professor of Political Science

Cal State Fullerton

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