A New ‘Normal’: Political Complicity, Exclusionary Violence and the Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas During the Argentine Dirty War
This is the final version of an article which has been published in the November 2011 issue of the International Journal of Transitional Justice. ©: 2011 Paul Katz. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Abstract: The military regime that controlled Argentina between 1976 and 1983 sought to radically depoliticize Argentine society through a violent campaign of social exclusion. Although this campaign required the active participation of the country’s major civil institutions, scholars of Argentina’s dictatorship and subsequent democratic transition have largely neglected the behavior of these key groups. This article examines the conduct of one such institution, the Delegation of Argentine Jewish Associations (DAIA), the Jewish community’s official political representative. DAIA’s drive for normality in the face of disorienting violence led the group, like many civil institutions, to cooperate with an abhorrent regime. DAIA’s cooperation entailed no obvious crimes, but it did contribute markedly to the climate of fear and isolation central to the military’s repressive social project. Rather than continue to ignore the critical role played by groups like DAIA, transitional justice mechanisms must be developed to account for this ‘political’ sort of complicity.
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