Argentina president vows to move embassy to Jerusalem, blacklist Hamas

Israeli President Isaac Herzog presented Javier Milei with a Hebrew Bible in appreciation of his firm support for the Jewish people.

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Jerusalem, Hamas, Argentina
Israeli President Isaac Herzog meets at his residence in Jerusalem with his Argentinian counterpart Javier Milei, Feb. 6, 2024. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog meets at his residence in Jerusalem with his Argentinian counterpart Javier Milei, Feb. 6, 2024. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog met on Tuesday evening at his residence in Jerusalem with his Argentinian counterpart Javier Milei, who has vowed to move his country’s embassy to the capital and designate Hamas a terrorist group.

In a private meeting ahead of the public one, Herzog presented Milei with a Hebrew Bible in appreciation of his firm support for the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

“The people of Israel have immense warmth and friendship with Argentina,” said Herzog, “and your visit here exemplifies the unique relationship that we have with Argentina, and the fact that we have so many Israelis whose family originated from Argentina.

“You have shown your love and affection, both for the Jewish people and the nation state of the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and we thank you wholeheartedly for this,” he added.

Said Milei: “I have been committed since day one to making sure that my first diplomatic visit as president would be to the State of Israel. Here I am, keeping my promise now.”

Milei described his visit as a “concrete testimony to the commitment we’ve had from the very first day of the terrorist attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.”

Argentina had “not only condemned the terrorist actions by Hamas,” he continued, “but also expressed our solidarity with the State of Israel and have continued to support Israel’s right to legitimate self-defense in this context.”

Milei also said that he had sent a proposal for a bill to the Lower House of Argentina’s Congress “precisely demanding the release of hostages, all hostages of course.”

He is also working on a project to declare Hamas a terrorist group, calling this “one more token of the historical closeness and support and friendship between our peoples.”

Milei arrived in Israel earlier on Tuesday, and immediately reiterated his pledge to move his nation’s embassy to Jerusalem and open a new chapter in bilateral relations.

The three-day solidarity trip, which is one of his first tours abroad since taking office two months ago, signals a major shift in Buenos Aires’ foreign policy towards the United States and Israel after decades of backing Arab countries.

The presidential trip will also include a visit to a kibbutz on the border with Gaza which was hard-hit by Hamas terrorists during the Oct. 7 massacre, a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem and a stop for prayer at the Western Wall.

Netanyahu issued a statement on Tuesday warmly welcoming Milei to Israel, the first such visit by a Latin American leader since the war broke out, and congratulated him on his commitment to relocating the embassy to Jerusalem. The two leaders met in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

An unabashedly public philo-semite, Milei has appointed his rabbi, Axel Wahnish, who is accompanying him on the visit, as Argentina’s next ambassador to Israel. The small delegation also includes Argentina’s foreign minister, Diana Mondino.

An iconoclast and political outsider, Milei was elected in November amid a burgeoning economic crisis and skyrocketing inflation that has long beleaguered the large South American country. A week after his election victory, he visited the United States for government meetings, stopping at the grave in New York of Lubavitcher Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

His staunch support for Israel both ditches decades of unequivocal backing for Arab countries in the predominantly Catholic Latin American nation and contrasts with neighboring Brazil, whose leftist leader, President Lula da Silva, has been highly critical of Israel’s war in Gaza.

With reporting by JNS.

Members

Israel Today Membership

Read all member content. Access exclusive, in-depth reports from Israel! Free Zoom events. Connect with Israel right from your home! Raise a voice of truth and hope. Support Faith-based journalism in Jerusalem!

Monthly
Membership

$5
/ month
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Become a Member

Yearly
Membership

$46
/ year
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 18% Per Month.
Become a Member

Six Months
Membership

$28
every 6 months
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 9% Per Month.
Become a Member

Leave a Reply

Israel Today Newsletter

Daily news

FREE to your inbox

Israel Heute Newsletter

Tägliche Nachrichten

KOSTENLOS in Ihrer Inbox

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter