1 September 1976

I apologize sincerely for my negligence. My world has changed completely since my last journal entry. Let me provide some context.

Poor timing has always been my most fatal flaw: I moved to Buenos Aires in the beginning of 1972  in search of a larger, more vibrant Jewish Community. Particularly, I was yearning for a Zionist connection. I have identified staunchly as a Zionist since the six months I spent at the Kibbutz after my undergraduate studies. I realize I forgot to mention that in my lat post– a terrible omission on my part. The months before my move I had been in close correspondence with Jacobo Timmerman, a fixture in the intellectual Zionist circles that seemed to thrive in the Argentina of yesterday. In early 1971 Timmerman expressed a desire to start his own publication in the vein of the French publication, Le Monde. La Opinion was to be a daily publication, committed to the pursuit of truth and journalistic integrity. Timmerman’s main objective was transparency. Journalists were to be held to the highest standard of integrity, and were required to sign their names at the end of articles. When Jacobo offered me an editorial position I accepted almost immediately.

I remember nothing about my first few months in Buenos aires. The constant stream of adrenaline that was characteristic of that period has rendered my memory weak.

I do recall that 1972 was marked by unthinkable tragedy.  On 27 July 1972, the 20th anniversary of Eva Peron’s death,Timmerman was the target of an attempted terrorist attack. Our worlds imploded. Normalcy is now only a faint memory.

The following months were marked by strife. The years of 1973 and 1973 ushered in harsh scrutiny from both the left and right. In the same mailbox we’d receive death threats from rightwing military groups and guerrilla Trotskyites. Absurd, isn’t it?

My Zionist ties grew more tenuous as my experience at home intensified. The paralyzing fear I felt at home was not conducive to sentimentalism. The events of 1975 reignited my passion.  That year, the UN General Assembly Resolution passed a resolution conflating Zionism and racism. The ruling was an egregious assault on the state I love and cherish. Jacobo and I felt an indescribable rage. It was only in this moment of pain that he was able to write the piece, now infamous, called Why I am A Zionist.

 

The events of 1976 were incendiary. The paper’s operations were suspended for the two months following the coup.  We are once again in publication, but continue to tread with a level of caution that leaves me with a feeling of resentment that’s difficult to articulate. This year has seen a serge of antisemitism. Bombings have reached a frequency of ten-per- month at this point.

I’m no longer scared. I feel nothing.

 

 

 

1 thought on “1 September 1976

  1. ssvolk says:

    Hi, Javier. How good to hear from you and to hear what you’ve been up to. I have the highest regard for La Opinión and for Timerman. I’ve always wanted to meet him and here you are, working with him! I worry that it’s not a good time to be a Jew in Argentina. There’s always a certain amount of antisemitism lurking under the surface, it’s one thing that both left and right seem to share, ironic, no? What’s happened with the paper since the coup? I haven’t been able to get a copy? Cuídate, pibe.

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