Staunch Israel supporter and politically conservative Argentinian President Javier Milei landed in Israel and promptly pronounced that he would indeed move the Argentinian Embassy to Jerusalem.
Argentina's Javier Milei arrived in Israel today and before even leaving the tarmac vowed to move his embassy to Jerusalem. pic.twitter.com/ZrBVrvEwxZ
— Aviva Klompas (@AvivaKlompas) February 6, 2024
Milei was welcomed by Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz, who told him, “You are a value-driven person committed only to truth, and it is no wonder that you chose to come to Israel immediately to support us in the just struggle to defend the Jewish people against Hamas terrorists. I thank you for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and for your announcement now to relocate Argentina’s embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Welcome to Israel, Mr. President – Viva La Libertad Carajo!”
“I warmly welcome the arrival to Israel of the President of Argentina, Israel’s friend, Javier Milei, who announced the relocation of Argentina’s embassy to Jerusalem. Welcome, dear friend!” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted.
אני מקבל בחום את הגעתו לישראל של נשיא ארגנטינה, ידיד ישראל חאבייר מיליי, שהודיע על העברת שגרירות ארגנטינה לירושלים. ברוך הבא חבר יקר! 🇮🇱 🇦🇷
— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) February 6, 2024
Milei arrived in Israel with Argentina’s Foreign Minister Diana Mondino, the Secretary General of the Presidency Karina Elizabeth Milei, and Rabbi Axel Wahnish, whom he has chosen to be Argentina’s Ambassador to Israel.
In late November, Milei arrived in the United States, where before he even met with U.S. officials or the International Monetary Fund, he went straight to the grave of the late Chabad-Lubavitch leader Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson to pay his respects. Prior to leaving Argentina, Milei had joined Rabbi David Pinto Shlita — who gave him and his mother a blessing — in Buenos Aires for the Havdalah ceremony marking the end of the Jewish Sabbath.
“I celebrate this beautiful country, Argentina, and I ask God to protect the Argentine Nation so that it returns to what it was before. I am sure that with God’s help you will help the Nation and, with the people of Argentina, you will achieve it,” Pinto Shilta told Milei, who responded, “Thank you, thank you, Rabbi.” The rabbi told Milei’s sister, “We pray to God to protect him in everything he needs.”
Argentina has the largest Jewish population in South America, roughly 220,000 people.
Milei visited Schneerson’s grave in July, where he visited the tomb of the Lubavitch rabbi and requested a blessing before the election that took place earlier this week. Schneerson, the leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, was a tireless pioneer for Jewish outreach; there are currently over 1,400 Chabad-Lubavitch institutions in 35 countries on six continents.
“The truth is that I did not get to know the Rebbe personally, but just in the last year I had the privilege of visiting the Rebbe’s grave twice,” Milei, who amazed the world by winning the presidential election in a landslide, stated. “There I asked for his holy blessing to be elected president of Argentina and this blessing became a reality this week.”
Milei, who pledged that Argentina’s two key allies would be the United States and Israel, gave his first foreign press interview to the Hasidic newspaper, “Kfar Chabad.” He said, “From what I’ve learned about the history of the Jewish people, their survival against all odds, and the divine protection they’ve received, I’m certain they will continue to prevail. My message is to keep faith in God, stay strong and united. Eventually, the world will realize the enduring truth — the nation of Israel lives on!”