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Argentina’s President-Elect Javier Milei Announces Pro-Israel Policies Ahead of White House Visit

Milei, who was born Roman Catholic, has considered converting to Judaism, and expressed passionate support for Israel both during his campaign and after he won the presidential election.
Javier Milei (i), visita tumbas de rabinos hoy en el cementerio judío de Montefiore en Springfield Gardens en Queens, Nueva York (EEUU) | EFE
Javier Milei (i), visita tumbas de rabinos hoy en el cementerio judío de Montefiore en Springfield Gardens en Queens, Nueva York (EEUU) | EFE

Argentina’s President-elect Javier Milei will meet with White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Tuesday and International Monetary Fund in Washington, according to NSC spokesperson John Kirby.

Kirby made the announcement on Monday that Milei will meet with Sullivan and other administration officials, a visit that comes on the heels of his trip to New York City where the newly elected president met with former President Bill Clinton and the burial place of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

Milei, who was born Roman Catholic, has considered converting to Judaism, and expressed passionate support for Israel both during his campaign and after he won the presidential election.

He even waved an Israeli flag at many of his campaign rallies, and is interested in following former President Donald Trump’s move to relocate his country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

While Milei meets with administration officials in Washington, President Biden will be traveling to Georgia to honor former first lady Rosalynn Carter at a memorial service. He will then travel to Colorado.

In addition to meeting with Sullivan, Milei and his team of economic policy advisers will meet with senior Treasury Department officials to discuss his administration’s policies, according to a statement released by the agency.

That meeting is expected to focus on the incoming Milei administration’s economic policies as well as regional and multilateral cooperation.

One Milei spokesperson who spoke to Bloomberg on the condition of anonymity said that the new president’s meetings “are protocol-driven to explain the economic plan: fiscal adjustment, monetary reform, state reform and deregulation,” clarifying that, “It is not in search of financing.”

“We want to continue to look for ways to cooperate with Argentina,” Kirby told a cache of reporters. “Argentina is a healthy and vibrant partner in this hemisphere on many, many issues. And so we’re looking forward to obviously hearing what the president-elect’s ideas are and where he wants to go on policy issues and making sure that we have a chance to keep that channel of communication open.

Despite being a self-described “anarcho-capitalist,” some news reports have compared Milei to former President Donald Trump whose administration favored some protectionist economic policies.

Trump congratulated Milei in a post-election phone call last week and pledged to travel to Argentina so the two could meet in person.

Milei was also congratulated by President Biden as well as El Salvador’s Nayeb Bukele and Brazil’s Ignacio Lula da Silva, who cheered Argentina’s election as a milestone for the election process.

In his congratulatory call, the American president congratulated Milei and spoke of “the strong relationship between the United States and Argentina on economic issues, on regional and multilateral cooperation, and on shared priorities, including advocating for the protection of human rights, addressing food insecurity and investing in clean energy.”

During his Monday visit in New York City,

Apart from his meeting with President Clinton in New York, Milei visited the grave of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, known for leading the Chabad-Lubavitch movement for more than 40 years before he died in 1994.

Schneerson’s burial place, which is located in Queens, is visited annually by world leaders and Jewish people from across the globe.

Schneerson is remembered today as one of the most influential Jewish leaders, helping inspire people of his faith in the wake of the Holocaust, namely inspiring Jews to define themselves by the good deeds they do on a daily basis.

Milei’s administration is expected to be one of the most pro-Israel governments in Argentina’s history, a stark distinction from other Latin American leaders who have criticized the Jewish state’s military response to the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack.

Earlier this month, Chilean leader Gabriel Boric withdrew his ambassador from Israel to contest its military response in Gaza and Colombian President Gustavo Petro threatened to suspend diplomatic relations after Israeli officials called his comments antisemitic.

The far-left government of Bolivia also severed diplomatic relations with Israel altogether, and accused it of committing “crimes against humanity.”

Mexico’s Andreas Manuel Lopez Obrador has also criticized Tel Aviv’s response in the Gaza. None of this however, seems to have phased Milei who has come out swinging for the Jewish state.

Before leaving for the United States, Milei participated in a Jewish ceremony in Buenos Aires where he received a blessing from a local rabbi.

The president-elect’s consistent contact with Jewish leaders has suggested that while his country and region remains predominantly Catholic, it could emerge as the strongest Israeli ally in the region.

Milei’s pro-Israel stance comes amid Hamas holding up to 21 Argentine nationals hostage, one of the largest nationalities who were kidnapped among an estimated 240 hostages.

Five Argentine hostages were among the 11 hostages being freed from Gaza on Monday, according to the local La Nacion newspaper.

Argentina’s has a Jewish community of about 220,000 people, a group that has also faced terrorist reprisals.

In 1992, a bomber attacked the Israeli embassy in Argentina. In 1994, a car bomber attacked the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, resulting in the death of 85 people and injuring hundreds.

That bombing went down in history as the South American country’s deadliest terrorist attack.

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