MORE ON TIMERMAN - 1979/07/19

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April 3, 2019
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April 12, 2019
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Publication Date: 
July 19, 1979
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� e. Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06626849 Pzi VLLULt FROM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES CLASSIFICATION CONFIDENTIAL 5843 192023Z JUL 79 Ej COLLECT Nb Ei CHARGE TO INDICATE 12065: E.0. 14300.2x XDS-4 7/19/99 lanailligOEMPIXIMPISMCC 6319=0,17AITO aR-P TAGS: SHUM AR SuBJECT:(1.) MORE ON TIMERMAN ACTION: AMB DCM SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY LIMDIS LIMDIS CONFIDENTIAL BUENOS AIRES 5843 REF: BUENOS AIRES 5763 1. (C - Entire Text.) 2. I talked this morning with a person very close to General Suarez Mason, and gave him my thoughts on the helpful role that General Suarez Mason might play in obtaining the release of Jacobo Timerman. My pitch is that if Suarez Mason sees himsel becoming an influential person in Argentina's foreign affairs he should begin now with gestures that might erase at least part of his dark reputation. My contact agreed to discuss this with Suarez Mason on Friday. DRAFTED BY POLCOUNS:WHHallman:jk CLEARANCES 50153-101 CASTRO omw-omisoATE 7/19/79 TEL EXT 278 CONFIDENTIAL CONTENTS AND CLASSIFICATION APPROVED BY DCM:MChaplin CLASSIFICATION Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06626849 OPTIONAL FORM 153 (Formerly FS-413) January 1975 Dept of State - Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06626849 Deputy Secretary Christopher's Meeting with Jacobo Timerman Jacobo Timerman, Hector Timerman, Rabbi Mort Rosenthal, Deputy Secretary Christopher, Deputy Assistant Secretary Schneider, Doug Dworkin, Claus W. Ruser, Gerald J. Whitman (Notetaker) Mr. Christopher welcomed Mr. Timerman to the United States.. Mr. Timerman's case had become a symbol. We had hoped that this day would come. The Deputy Secretary expressed his sympathy and admiration for the fortitude with which Mr. Timerman had served his detention. Mr. Timerman expressed his gratitude to Mr. Christopher for the U.S. Government's efforts on his behalf, both by officials in Washington and the Embassy in Buenos Aires. The Deputy Secretary said he was interested in Mr. Timerman's views in light of his experience, his advice on human rights policy, and Argentina's prospects. Mr. Timerman said he would try to answer with candor. Three years ago the United States had begun its numan rights policy high with idealism. It was a policy to be applied to all regimes, be they communist or fascist. It was the first time in history a major power had made human rights a significant element in its foreign policy. At this time, however, the U.S. was no longer the leader in the advancement of ........,:(:)NF 31/85 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 006626849 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06626849 CONFIDENTIAL - 2 - human rights, and perhaps its policy had missed the point. The policy was begun with ideas that-struck the world, but the initial efforts were not followed through. The pragmatic approach of doing only what could be done was wrong -- there was nothing to be gained by being pragmatic. Mr. Christopher said U.S. human rights policy had not changed, but its implementation was only one part of U.S. foreign policy. He could not hold up Argentina as the best example of the results of our policies but, over the world as a whole, that policy has had some effect. Perhaps, however, the U.S. had been too pragmatic in applying its human rights policy and, in light of Mr. Timerman's views, it might be worthwhile to re-examine that pragmatism. Mr. Timerman said that Argentina is similar to what the Balkans were in Europe: it is the sick man of Latin America. /n an atmosphere of conspiracy, military solutions are advanced for political problems and vice versa. These problems have always existed, but there is one significant difference this time -- there was never so much violence before. The government%believes that killing people is a solution. Mr. Timerman said it was interesting that the Soviets had established influence with Argentina, while the PRC had become Chile's friend. When asked what his blueprint for human rights policy in Argentina would be, Mr. Timerman asserted that the U.S. must consider Argentina within the context of Latin America; there must be a joint policy with other countries -- such as Venezuela and Mexico -- to build up democracy. As it stands now, Argentina ri gggaing-fo-f-T-Mnerous explosion. Mr. Timerman said there is no group in Argentina today strong enough to provide an alternative leadership I to the country. But, perhaps in a few years, such ! a group will develop. Supporting the moderates in I the present regime, however, is not a solution, since they are just as responsible as the hardliners for \ what is happening in Argentina and they have no solution 'for the country's problems. Mr. Christopher said Mr. Timerman's remarks have authenticity, since the moderates have not changed things very much. World-wide our efforts to work CONFIDENTIAL Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06626849 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06626849 CONFIDENTIAL - 3 - with the moderate factions in military regimes has produced only modest results. Perhaps the U.S. should simply take the high road. With respect to enlisting the support of other Latin American countries, he noted that these countries have not always been very helpful. When asked why he thought he was released, Timerman said he was certain it was because of the pressure of public opinion from the United States. The Argentine Government is afraid of U.S. and international public opinion, and public opinion should be used more often. Argentina thinks in terms of power and for this reason respects the U.S. Mr. Timerman concluded the meeting by again thanking Mr. Christopher for U.S. support, and expressing his deep gratitude for the assistance he received frow the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires. Drafted:ARA/ECA:GJWhitmanmas 10/31/79 CONFIDENTIAL Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06626849 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06626849 looking to their own vulnerabilities, both electorally and on the issues Anyone tempted to be smug should recall that the South and West, where Reagan's strength would he in a contest against Kennedy, contain 291 electoral votes, 21 more than are needed to win the election If Carter were nominated, Reagan would not have so firm a hold on some southern states, but he could make it up in the Northeast On the issues, the Democrats need to come up with better answers than they have for dealing with inflation, energy supplies, and US weakness in the world Ronald Reagan may be too simple in his approach to govern effectively, but the Democrats right now are too confused to win the election Only the Jews can save the Jews. Coming Home by Jacob� Timerman Tel Aviv The Jews are always making explanations, again and again, to themselves and to non-Jews, in all countries, searching for words in all languages What is curious is that we must always explain the same things, things that have been explained through many centuries Each generation, of Jews and non-Jews, demands a new explanation But it is essentially the same explanation every time Two things I said upon my arrival in Israel on September 27 aroused debate in the Jewish community of Argentina, as well as in some non-Jewish circles there Needless to say, these statements were seized upon with a kind of morbid pleasure by the anti-Semitic press of Buenos Aires I said "Only the Jews can save the Jews The others can only help "I also said "At last I have found a home, my fatherland It is a shame that the philanthropic organizations that brought my father from the Ukraine to Argentina did not bring him to Israel" Some friends in Buenos Aires pointed out that during my imprisonment, I got very little help from the Jewish Institutions in Argentina Only two rabbis stood beside me and my family It was not the Jewish press of Buenos Aires, but an English daily�the Buenos Aires Herald� that took up my case The Judenrat (Jewish Council) of Buenos Aires left the task of presenting my case in the hands of lawyers retained by my family If that organization ever mentioned my case, it did so only to register the statement in its archives, so that it could Jacob� Timerman, a native of Argentina, was editor of La Opinion in Buenos Aires He spent two and a half years as a political prisoner there In September he was released and settled in Israel This article was translated from Spanish by Edith Pieper and Leon Wieseltier December 1, 1979 prove its concern in case anyone asked But I was not speaking about saving myself, about my physical safety If I had feared for the security of my family and me, I would have left Argentina when I started to edit the newspaper La Opinion in 1971, from that moment I endured threats and bombing attempts from both the extreme left and the extreme right I was even aware in April 1977 that my arrest was imminent But I felt that my paper's struggle for democratic pluralism and human rights, against anti-Semitism and fascism, obliged me to remain Of course I am grateful to all those who aided in my survival and fought for my freedom Yet in the end deliverance consists in the possibility of realizing in oneself one's own identity It is the possibility of living an identity without the slightest possibility that that identity will be discussed, analyzed, rejected In that transcendent sense, only the Jews can save the Jews, because only the Jews could have built the state of Israel, and only the Jews can maintain its existence, enrich its reality, assure its future Is this so difficult to understand? How many times have we already explained it Is it necessary to explain it again? James Neilson, a journalist for the Observer of London, wrote about my expulsion from Argentina "Had Israel not existed to give him refuge, a dozen countries in the civilized West would have been proud to do the same The parallels with Soviet treatment of Solzhenitsyn could hardly have been more vivid" Rarely have I encountered a journalist of such courage as James Neilson, who wrote dozens of articles in the Argentin- ian, British, and Israeli press about my situation and the situation of thousands of other prisoners He is a democratic man, a Christian born in England, who spent a year as a student in an Israeli kibbutz And yet Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06626849 19 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06626849 � AA, he believes that Israel gave me refuge That is precisely what Israel did not do Many countries in the West, when word first got out that I might be released, quietly contacted my family and offered residence and citizen- ship, assistance and work The only country that did not do this was Israel Nor did I ask permission of Israel to come here I came simply to take what is mine Israeli citizenship It is mine for being born a Jew Nobody has to offer it to me, and of nobody need I request it That is why Israel offered me nothing and why I requested nothing And in the not-offering and the not-asking hes the greatness of what happened How can this be explained? Those who aided me, who generously offered their countnes, who asked me to accept the asylum they proposed, must understand that I have not rejected their acts of friendship They must also understand that I appreciate their help They must also know that I have no doubt that in those democratic countries the Jewish communities may freely develop and live, and not fear persecution But at the same time it is essential that they understand that deep within me, in my soul, in my veins, in my cells, in my atoms, I bear many centuries of persecution And it is not refuge that I want, however generous or safe it might be The countries that offered me citizenship may be safer or more comfortable than Israel But which one, except Israel, could offer me that feeling of ownership? Here I am the owner Here I can offer refuge and help to the persecuted in other countries, to the Kurds, the Vietnamese, the Lebanese, the Cambodians It is a feeling that is difficult to explain, an experience difficult to transmit, especially in a few quick sentences at a press conference in the airport at Tel Aviv after 30 months in prison But was there a need for further explanations? For how many years have we been explaining this? Through the street of many Western cams I could stroll as a secure citizen, without fearing for my safety as a man or as a Jew This is true But when I stroll through the streets of Tel Aviv, I do it as an owner, as the owner of every bit of ground, of every leaf on the trees And here hes the difference between saving and helping The Jews made Israel, and they can save me from the passionate complexities and contradictions of my Jewish identity Outside of Israel the others can only help me to feel no longer persecuted, to live in safety do not believe that those countries that offEred me refuge, or those individuals and democratic institutions that assisted me, should take offense at this attitude Some consider it patronizing or aristocratic But it is the aristocracy of freedom, of a total and definitive freedom accepted without reserve We may approach the issue from another angle There is a genre of speculative political fiction similar to science fiction For example, there was a book several years ago about the first black president of the United States Or imagine a pope chosen by the Kremlin 20 Political fiction may transport us through ina adventures of the imagination what if Hitler hal invaded Britain?, what if a Nazi were elected tile White House?, etc One theme of such specula � works often is the consequence such an event have for Jews But no political fiction could imagine that a Jew could be persecuted as such, as al in Israel. I believe that I may never find the words that adequately express what this feeling means to a But it is what I feel And it is what democratic must understand Perhaps this way they wdi understand Israel's insistence on many matters affect its security as a state This insisten stubbornness, if you wish�troubles democratic tries such as France and Germany, which have resol their border problems after many centuries of cons war For this reason I again insist that only Jews can sa the Jews That is a simple sentence, nothing one even boring But when considered from the perspecti I have been trying to explain, it is easy to understand. certain Jews in the Diaspora feel uncomfortable wi this sentence, it is because they feel obliged to make great dialectical effort to explain that the Diaspora should continue to exist And if many non-Jews do not understand this sentence, it is because Jewish and Zionist organizations do not often enough accept the task of keeping alive, and in the open, the fundamental principles of Jewish identity In those countries where Jews have a clear perspective and firm conviction concerning their identity, as in the United States, this sentence should not arouse anxiety In other words, I now have my own home, i homeland This affirmation frightened the Mem* in Argentina it may be supposed in the Diaspora th�at a homeland cannot be found The historical meaning of my affirmation is greater than the particular events of my own experience The Israeli newspaper Magna recently published letters from Argentinian political leaders pointing out that the annulment of my Argentinian citizenship should not disturb me, that it was a decision taken in peculiar political circumstances.- And so in fact it was And I have no doubt that justice, and the political future in Argentina, will permit me again to obtain Argentinian citizenship if I ask But I will not ask Never And this must not be understood as a negation of the Argentinian people, or of the 50 years that I lived there My act is an affirmation, not a negation It is the affirmation that there exists a Jewish history that is legitimate, a Jewish historical memory that cannot be discarded It is the affirmation of that process of national liberation called Zionism which goes beyond my own story. It matters little what happens to me personally What matters is that in the face of any eventuality that may befall any Jew, in any part of the world, for just or unjust reasons, Israel remains a homeland to which he or she can come without explanations And here that Jew is as much the master Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06626849 The New Republic g. 1 as he! tha Pal eel abc Isr a n the th sts mt OOP Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06626849 as those thousands of Jews wheise families have lived here for generations, many of them as long as or longer than most of the Arabs who inhabit other parts of Palestine Even those countries that are most open to refugees present certain conditions they ask to know about background, education, health, and so on Only Israel presents no conditions in its offer of a homeland Zionism is not a movement of persecuted people, it is a movement of free people It is in the democracies, in the countries from which Jews do not need to escape, that Zionism develops most strongly, and where it has its best results This is precisely because Israel offers much more than a refuge It offers a unique possibility for the perfection of man the development of his identity to its furthest and most profound conclusions Our historical memory, the memory of many holocausts past, and the idea that nobody can guarantee the impossibility of holocausts in the future, however remote they seem, is an integral part of Zionism It is only one part, and perhaps the decisive part But the crucial feature of Zionism is national liberation, identity There may be those who wish to portray this as the negation of the Diaspora But it is something more important it is the affirmation of the future I am here in Israel to be part of the future Not to be the result of the past The collapse of the middle class. White-Collar Status Panic by Paul Blumberg The unprecedented inflation of the past decade has prooluced dramatic changes in the customary income diffe}ences between white-collar and blue-collar workers In 11 years between 1967 and 1978, prices reflecte in the consumer price index, virtually doubled Jus. to stay even with inflation before taxes, a worker's pa had to double The figures in Table I reveal that am ng American wage and salary workers, only those in strqg trade unions have been protected from the effects )of inflation hese few workers continued to enjoy re wage ip reases much as they did in the earlier postwar pe o /the figures given here are all before taxes, recent i ation has driven all workers into higher tax brack s, the after-tax trends in income are far gloos ier for t 'ose who have done the best. Neverthele , the relati ely small groups of workers in stee , auto, mining, t cking, and the like, whose wages re indexed to the c st of living, have managed to 'de the inflation escalator nd make decent gains in is period The industrial w ker's greatest hedge ainst inflation in the last decade as not been amps, antiques, real estate, or baseb cards, but ong trade union gold, as ue-collar workers in weaker unions or in industries t have been hard hit by imports�textile, garment, Peal Blumberg teaches sociology at the City University of New York His book, The Future of Inequality in an Age of Dedine, will be published next year by Oxford Universi- ty Press Orcetcliff 1, 1979 shoe workers�either have seen their living standards fall or barely are holding their own The same is true of practically all white-collar workers, most of whom are non 'lionized A few high-level executives (such as feder non-u profess' barely k done the relatively h pushed the clearest exam average, their dropped 95 pe percent after taxes as much ground, welfare, who suffere a between 1967 and Because the wa by strong cost-o more rapidly not so prote striking gai decade T earnings vanou cruct to t sal nes of white-collar workers at all le Is Compared to low-level clerical and retail sales workers, managers) have made modest gains, b onized white-collar clerical, sa nal workers are slipping back eping up White-collar work orst are those who started most s, and rd or are s who have e period with h incomes Their sal y' increases have into sharply highe tax brackets The le is that of fu r professors On the eal salaries tween 1967 and 1978 ent befo taxes and about 175 The o y other large group to lose ortionally, was families on 16 5 percent loss of income lue-collar workers protected wing al wances are rising so much n the salan s of white-collar workers ed, these Indus ial workers have made s on most salarte employees in the last le II illustrates th by comparing the f automobile workers ith the earnings of white-collar employees t illustrate these income shifts The wages of toworkers, tied e cost of living, have dramatica outpaced the Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06626849 21 o Approved for Release: 20118/10/01 C066268490646...iiiO4 tailte) wo.1 tif tt� lw!iff f �.":,.44T �//141 fa/ 1/, ../n/k/'1 3../tkiS AL, , . ttet TO:TY'. 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