Cite: Rein and Davidi, Israeli Perceptions of Jacobo Timerman

Rein, Raanan and Efraim Davidi. “‘Exile of the World‘: Israeli Perceptions of Jacobo Timerman.” Jewish Social Studies 16.3 (2010): 1-31.





Upon his arrival in Israel in September 1979, the Jewish-Argentine journalist Jacobo Timerman was welcomed as a Jewish hero. The founding editor of the daily La Opinión had been kidnapped in Argentina in April 1977, tortured, and had spent almost two and a half years in illegal detention, and later house arrest, until he was deported to Israel. But the initial enthusiasm quickly gave way to disappointment. The Jewish hero became a persona non grata, among other reasons because of his critical writings against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. This article analyzes the changing image of Timerman in the Hebrew press. Israeli society found it difficult to accept such criticism from someone who had come to Israel only a short time earlier and, moreover, with the help of the Israeli government. The hostility toward Timerman also reflected a lack of understanding as to the meaning of Zionism among many Diaspora Jews.

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