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Argentine Jewish Community in Turmoil Over Pro-Genocide Statement of a Top Leader

A furor erupted in Argentina at the end of last week after Sergio Pikholtz, the Vice President of the Delegation of Argentine Israelite Associations (DAIA), the organization that officially represents the Jewish community, posted a tweet on X that “there are no innocent civilians in Gaza, perhaps only children under the age of 4. No mercy for the assassins of Jews. We shall be victorious!” He also included videos of war scenes in Gaza. The DAIA is very conservative and generally lines up with Israel and the U.S., but this statement caused an uproar from within the Jewish community and its many organizations, reflecting a diversity of opinion.

Pikholtz, who formerly served as president of the Argentine Zionist Organization, waited for 20 hours before he removed his post, during which he was first asked by DAIA’s top leadership to take a leave of absence, but then he subsequently offered his “irrevocable resignation.” Rabbis, Jewish schools, social clubs, and other community organizations all issued statements condemning his remarks. Meretz, an Israeli labor party, denounced Pikholtz’s post, saying “these types of dehumanizing statements should never be expressed by those holding leadership positions in the Jewish community, which is diverse and largely committed to peace and human rights,” the Argentine daily Página 12 reported. A Rabbi Isaac Sacca responded “we reject this cruel declaration…. If we have to defend ourselves, we shall do so against evil [individuals], not against innocent people who are victims of their situation.”

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