February 17, 2002
Following months of spontaneous protests and political unrest, including the resignation of two Presidents within a short period of time, Eduardo Duhalde was sworn in as the leader of Argentina on January 1, 2002. On January 7, the Argentine Congress officially ended the country’s peg of the peso to the U.S. dollar, allowing the government to devalue the currency by 28.5%. In the wake of these political and economic developments in Argentina, and acknowledging that such conditions have created an unstable environment in that country, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) reaffirms its solidarity with the Jewish community in Argentina.
We urge the Duhalde administration to restore law and order in Argentina. As part of the effort to restore the rule of law and the confidence in the judicial system, the JCPA urges Argentine authorities to do everything in their power to bring about the successful prosecution of those responsible for the Israeli Embassy and AMIA bombings, and to ensure that the AMIA trial proceeds without delay. We urge President Bush and members of Congress to continue to encourage the Argentine government, with the help of American law enforcement experts, to pursue the perpetrators of these crimes.
To date, Argentine Jewish leadership reports that there is no evidence of an increase in anti-Semitic sentiment related to the crisis. The JCPA and its member agencies will remain watchful of the situation in Argentina and the effect on the Jewish community there. Furthermore, the JCPA urges its member agencies to alert the organized American Jewish community to the severity of the situation in Argentina, to express solidarity with the Argentine Jewish community, and, in light of the Argentine Jewish community’s increasing economic and social needs, to support the efforts of the UJC, JDC, HIAS, JAFI and Israel to provide that community with resources to help alleviate the situation.