Jewish groups laud remand of Argentinian leftist

Fernando Esteche, leader of an anti-US and anti-Israel political group, is on trial for threatening Jews in 2006.

Jewish organizations in Argentina on Friday welcomed a court decision to extend the remand of a leftist leader charged with threatening Jews in 2006, pending the outcome of his trial.
The DAIA and AMIA Jewish groups welcomed the judge’s decision to keep Quebracho head Fernando Esteche in jail until he decides whether the suspect used the threat of force to disperse a Jewish protest outside an Iranian embassy.
“We believe it is a case with much supporting evidence, footage and witnesses,” Debora Kott, the director of the DAIA legal department, was quoted as saying by a local Jewish newspaper.
“We believe Jewish protesters were prevented by force to express their opinion in a peaceful demonstration.”
Fernando Esteche, who is the leader of Quebracho, a staunchly anti-US and anti- Israeli political group, was charged on Wednesday with intent to coerce, through insults and violence, a group of young Jewish protesters to disperse from a rally in front of the Iranian embassy.
Esteche said he was being persecuted because of “Zionist pressure that operates in Argentina.”
During the court proceedings, the leftist politician, who has spent time in prison for “political violence,” said his party’s members carried clubs at the rally in question in self-defense.
Meanwhile, dozens of hooded leftist protesters attempted to tear down the railing surrounding the courthouse until they were dispersed by local police.
Quebracho aligns itself with Latin America’s far left and supports Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Iran and Hezbollah are believed to have been behind two deadly bombings in Buenos Aires of a Jewish center and the Israeli embassy in 1992 and 1994 which killed scores of people.