An ignominious vote in the Buenos Aires Legislature, promoted by the national government

Escribe Jorge Altamira

Tiempo de lectura: 4 minutos

Last Thursday, the Buenos Aires Legislature approved the incorporation of the definition of antisemitism established by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The bill came to the House by an initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in charge of Felipe Sola, who "invites" the "judiciary and legislative branch to adhere to that statement. The invitation is not a minor detail, since when adopting the resolution of the Ministry, the scope of the provision extends to all the state institutions of the country, mainly in teaching and Justice, where it could provoke criminal actions.

The passage of the law in the Buenos Aires legislature was supported almost unanimously, with the only opposition from Autodeterminación y Libertad, that vigorously denounced the bill. The FIT legislators - PTS and PO (o), Myriam Bregman, Alejandrina Barry and Gabriel Solano - voted it in favor, despite that warning, that is, without any confusion about what was at stake.

The definition of the term "antisemitism” just adopted by Fernández and Macri, understands antisemitism as "a certain perception of the Jews which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are direct toward Jewish or non-Jewish people and / or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities”. The resolution, voted by the IHRA in 2016, involves the “institutions” of the State of Israel. It indicates as "examples" of antisemitism "denying the Jewish peoples their right to self-determination, by claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavor." And it adds, verbatim: “The demonstrations [considered antisemitic] may include those directed at the State of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collective. Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

It violates the national Constitution

This last paragraph would make Maimonides cry, so rude is the handling of the logical adventures of the Talmud. Israel's determination as "a Jewish collective" occupies a subordinate place in the phrase, when it comes to the main judgement. It is a racist approach, since it reserves Israeli citizenship to a special class of people and not to all those born in its territory or to those who request it. The definition cancels the citizenship rights of 20% of the Arab inhabitants of the territory assigned to the Zionist state in 1948, which even have parties in parliament. The fight against anti-Semitism thus becomes an exclusive definition of rights on the part of an entity claiming its statehood.

A considerable part of the Jewish population of Israel, which must be considered as such because it regards itself in this way, is fiercely against defining the State as a “collective (only for) Jews”. Netanyahu has long promoted a constitutional review that put an end to the rights of so-called "Israeli Arabs." It is outside the framework of this article to conjecture about the civil destiny that will be reserved for mixed marriages. Let us only emphasize that in the period known as Jim Crow (from 1880), those involving blacks and whites were banned in the United States, and that the same thing happened in Boer South Africa. The resolution of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the one voted by the Legislature, by condemning the right to denounce the State of Israel as racist and discriminatory, are therefore against the principles of the Argentine National Constitution and make it liable to political trial for those who promoted and voted for it.

Violates national rights

Israel, on the other hand, is preparing to annex the West Bank, making it a formal "apartheid state". The Jewish settlers in those territories, that have been appropriated by force, will retain Israeli citizenship, but not their historical residents, the Palestinians. The category of "Jewish collective" now takes on a more discriminatory character - it is a national oppression to the fullest degree. The political scientist who warns, in a university class, that this political regime turns the Jewish population into a national oppressor would be removed from his chair by means of the monster that Fernández and Solá have promoted, and that the Buenos Aires legislators voted. The powers that have supported this definition and that support Israeli sovereignty in the occupied territories, turn a blind eye to the anti-Semites that they wield, when they do not promote, in their countries.

Representing criticism of Zionism as a form of antisemitism violates the ideological plurality of Judaism throughout its history, especially in the last century. Jewish socialists and communists were at the forefront of the fight against Nazism, especially in defense of Jewish communities and ghettos; meanwhile the leader of Zionism that Netanyahu embodies today was interviewing Mussolini amicably. Finally, it is necessary to state that those who promote this violation of democracy and national rights do so on behalf of the United Nations, whose resolutions Israel has violated as many times as it wishes. To declare the fight against the Zionist state as Judeophobia is to want to frame all Jews, without distinction, as accomplices to Palestinian submission and the consequent massacres. This is indeed antisemitism.

The vote of the Buenos Aires Legislature, and those that will come in the provinces and in Congress, are a warning against the left and the national fighters. When the resolution says that the state of Israel can be criticized like any other state, but not assign to that state a connotation and a discriminatory, proto-racist or oppressive national condition, it becomes in itself an accomplice to racism, discrimination, and national oppression.

The FIT-U

It is surprising that the Frente de Izquierda Unidad has voted in favor of such an outrage. Even if they did not share the terms of the criticism that they will receive for that vote, and pretend to present the vote as something innocuous, they should have done it against it, because it is clearly a contribution to Netanyahu's policy, and contrary to the whole tradition of the left . Excuses are trash. They harm the fight for Palestinian national self-determination and the fight against world imperialism, and the struggle for the democratic rights of the fighters and the left. From the Partido Obrero (Tendencia) we support the right of return of the Palestinian Arab people to the territories from which they were expelled by the State of Israel and the confiscation of settlers and land appropriated by that state. The IHRA, which has fueled this whole move, is an organization where 34 governments - most of them right wing - participate, including Trump's and several philo-Nazis and / or anti-Semites such as Orbán de Hungary, all aligned with the state of Israel and complicit in the genocidal policy of the Zionist regime with the Palestinian people. We demand a public pronouncement from the FIT-U parties in repudiation of the vote of their parliamentarians.

(1) [Press release document antisemitism] (http://holocaustremembrance.com/sites/default/files/press_release_document_antisemitism.pdf)

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