Remove government minister over Al-Quds participation, group says

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) – In a letter to the Argentine minister of Agriculture, the Simon Wiesenthal Center called for the removal of a government undersecretary after  his participation in an Al Quds Day ceremony.

Norberto Yauhar was asked to remove acting Under Secretary of Family Agriculture, Emilio Pérsico from his post after he attended the August 2 ceremon at At-Tawhid Mosque in Buenos Aires.

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During the event, radical activist Luis D’Elia, nationalist Fernando Esteche, former Montoneros guerrilla leader Roberto Perdía, and Sheikh Abdul Karim Paz of Hezbollah were present and the latter was praised. Mohsen Rabbani, the 1994 Iranian Cultural Attaché in Buenos Aires implicated in the terrorist attack on AMIA Jewish Center, was absolved. Regarding Israel, calls were made “for that state to disappear.”

“Apparently, the speakers at Al Quds Day in Buenos Aires feel energized and empowered by the Argentina-Iran agreement, and now foment hate with impunity” Sergio Widder, the Wiesenthal center’s director for Latin America, told JTA.

The Argentinian government has not commented on the issue.

“The presence of an undersecretary of state at this hate fest could be construed as an official endorsement of its position by the Argentine authorities. The government must promptly disassociate itself from this Al Quds Day event by publically condemning it,” said Shimon Samuels, director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.