Sunday, June 20, 2010

Argentina: First-Ever Jewish Minister of Foreign Affairs

The ambassador of Argentina in the United States, Héctor Timerman, was appointed the new chancellor of Argentina, replacing Jorge Taiana, who resigned from the position. Timerman became the first Jewish Minister of Foreign Affairs in Argentina. He has a close bond with the Argentinean Jewish community, and he helped the relatives of the victims of the 1994 AMIA bombing in their fight for justice.

Timerman served as General Consul of Argentina in the United States from July 2004 to December 2007, when he was appointed Ambassador. Previously, he was a successful journalist, directing and collaborating with several journals both in Argentina and in the world. Timerman is a co-founder of America's Watch, a human rights organization in the United States with Observer status in the United Nations. In addition, he was a member of the Directors’ Committee of the Fund for Free Expression (now called the Free Expression Project of Human Rights Watch), an organization that fights censorship around the world..

He is the son of Jacobo Timerman, the recognized journalist who was kidnapped, disappeared and tortured during the Argentinean dictatorship. He was kidnapped in 1977 by militants under the direction of Ramón Camps, an anti-Semitic general who was later condemned of crimes against humanity. He was liberated in 1980, after which he fled to Israel and to the United States. In 1984, Jacobo Timerman gave his testimonial to the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (CONADEP) and it was included in the Never More Report (Informe Nunca Más).

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