Andinia Plan

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Andinia Plan (Spanish: plan Andinia) refers to a conspiracy theory to allegedly establish a Jewish state in parts of Argentina. It is partly based on an exaggeration of historical proposals for organized Jewish migration to Argentina in the late 19th and the early 20th century (which, however, did not include plans for a Jewish state there). The name and contents of the plan have wide currency in Argentine and Chilean extreme right-wing circles, but no evidence of its actual existence has ever been brought up, making it according to the US-based Anti Defamation League, the Conservative Gatestone Institute and the Israeli research institute Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs an example of a conspiracy theory.[1][2][3]

This alleged plan has been used as a rhetorical device by far right circles to attack Jews and institutions. In 1971 a leaflet appeared among officers in the Argentinean army under the name "Plan Andinia," which accused international Jewry and Zionists of planning to take over southern Argentina. It has been circulating ever since." After the attempted coup, all the rightist, Peronist and neo-Nazi organizations turned on the Jewish community as a means of attacking democratic institutions. They claimed that the Alfonsín government was a partner in a Zionist plot to take over land in southern Argentina. Liberal newspapers, taken in by the rightists, published articles on the plan to settle 25,000 Israelis in the south of Argentina in order to bolster the Alfonsín regime.

Jewish migration to Argentina and early Zionist plans[edit]

Starting in 1880, Argentine governments had a policy of massive immigration, and the liberal tendencies of the Roca administration were instrumental in making European Jews feel welcome.

Maurice de Hirsch sponsored the Jewish Colonization Association for the support of agricultural settlements, and the idea was seriously considered as an alternative to Palestine by leading Zionists such as Theodore Herzl. However, these did not include plans for an independent Jewish state there, but for a local Jewish autonomy. The notion of a Jewish homeland, not in Palestine, but elsewhere in the world, such as a region of South America or in East Africa, eventually led to the schism of the Jewish Territorialist Organization.

The Jewish population in Argentina grew and prospered in the ensuing years, though the community eventually became much more urban (see History of the Jews in Argentina).

Conspiracy theory[edit]

Extreme right-wing had a strong foothold in the military, mostly through the teachings of Jordán Bruno Genta. In these circles, the Andinia Plan was sometimes assumed to be a fact, even though the Zionist movement had abandoned all plans related to Argentina decades ago,[4] and Argentine Jewish institutions (headed by DAIA) were recognized by (and conversant with) all Argentine governments, including military juntas.

Later versions of the "Plan", as published in Argentine Neo-Nazi media since the 1970s, involved an alleged Israeli intention to conquer parts of Patagonia in Argentina's south, and declare a Jewish state. This theory did not take hold in mainstream political discourse. Many Israelis tour South America, many of them immediately after their military service as a gap year experience, with Patagonia being a favored destination. (The actual early 20th century Jewish settlement effort was rather focused on the other extremity of the country, the northern Entre Ríos Province and surroundings, where it coexisted alongside other European settlements.)

During the 1976-1983 dictatorship, some Jewish prisoners of the armed forces, notably Jacobo Timerman, were interrogated about their knowledge of the Andinia plan, and were asked to provide details regarding the preparations of the Israeli Defense Forces for the invasion of Patagonia.

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