New York, NY, July 8, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today strongly criticized statements made by Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in which she evoked classic anti-Semitic stereotypes linking Jews to the cause of Argentina’s financial challenges.
During a visit with elementary school children, who were in the midst of studying Shakespeare, President Fernandez de Kirchner recommended they read The Merchant of Venice to understand vulture funds and their implications in Argentina. Following the July 4 visit, she repeated her disturbing recommendation on Twitter.
“We are deeply concerned that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is once again promoting anti-Semitic stereotypes,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “The Merchant of Venice - with its nefarious character Shylock - reinforces stereotypes of Jews and present them as money-hungry, conniving and cruel, and by suggesting students to study this play, she is sending a message to Argentina’s youth that Jews are somehow connected to the economic woes of her country.”
Mr. Foxman added, “We stand with the Jewish community of Argentina in repudiation of the President’s statements and her repeated implications of Jewish involvement in this issue.”
A 2014 ADL poll in 100 countries found that 24 percent of those surveyed in Argentina harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, including 50 percent of Argentinians, according to the League’s latest polling, agreeing with the statement, “Jews have too much power in the business world.”