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Montevideo, October 23rd 2021 - 04:01 UTC

 

 

Israel demands explanations for Argentina's vote at UN in favor of human rights probe

Tuesday, June 1st 2021 - 09:38 UTC
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Ambassador Urribarri (left) will need to explain why Argentine sided with China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and other undemocratic countries. Ambassador Urribarri (left) will need to explain why Argentine sided with China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and other undemocratic countries.

The Government of Israel Monday summoned Argentina's ambassador to Tel Avil Sergio Urribarri following the South American country's vote at the United Nations (UN) to create a Commission to investigate the “alleged violations of human rights in Israel and the Gaza Strip.”

Argentina voted in concurrence with China, Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba, among 24 other countries, which was not welcome in Tel Aviv.

Ambassador Sergio Urribarri is to meet Deputy Director General for Latin America and the Caribbean, Modi Ephraim Tuesday at 11:00 (Jerusalem time).

Argentine President Alberto Fernández has explained that ”before voting, I spoke with everyone. And I explained our diplomatic position. Nobody objected to me, and everyone understood me. Therefore, I do not believe that Argentina's vote at the UN will affect the negotiation with the Paris Club and the IMF,”

Fernández maintains that his position followed that of former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who now heads the United Nations' human rights department, which is also going to investigate Hamas and not just Israel.

In any case, Argentina's decision is regarded as one that may interfere with current negotiations with western countries both for the purchase of vaccines against the coronavirus and for the restructuring of Argentina's debts with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Paris Club.

The UN resolution received 24 votes in favour, 9 against and 14 abstentions. The motion was not backed by the United States, nor by any nation of the European Union or the rest of those that makeup Mercosur.

Those against the resolution believe that such a decision puts Israel at the same level as the Hamas organization. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the UN initiative “shameful” and considered it to be “another example of the flagrant anti-Israeli obsession of the UN Human Rights Council.”

Meanwhile, the Argentine Delegation of Israeli Associations (DAIA) Monday conveyed its disapproval to President Fernández: “It hurt us to see Argentina voting in favour of countries that violate human rights,” DAIA President Jorge Knoblovits told Fernández in a face to face meeting.

The Argentine President now needs to smooth things over with the Jewish community after Argentina's vote.

“We told him that abstention for Argentina would have been the most prudent scenario,” said Knoblovits after the meeting. He also explained that Fernández “made it clear to them that he has no problem with the State of Israel, but quite the opposite” and considered that “this is a matter that the State of Israel will handle with that of Argentina.”

“Being in a space with countries that are not democratic and systematically violate human rights, without individual freedoms or respect for minorities... Seeing the country vote with them hurt us,” Knoblovits explained.

“As Argentine victims of two terrorist attacks, we have the standing to say that this vote should, in any case, have been an abstention,” he insisted. ”We hope that from now on we can take a joint action (with the Government) so that this (about the latest events in the Middle East) has no impact on Argentina,” he added.

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