Argentine neo-Nazi politician fails to qualify for election

Alejandro Biondini, who said he'd expel the Israeli ambassador if elected, fails to garner enough primary votes.

Ben Ariel ,

Argentina's Congress in Buenos Aires
Argentina's Congress in Buenos Aires

A neo-Nazi politician failed to garner enough primary votes to qualify for Argentina’s general elections in October, JTA reports.

The primaries, which were held on Sunday, determined each party’s slate of candidates and tickets.

Candidates that do not pass 1.5 percent of the votes are excluded from the general election.

Among them are Alejandro Biondini, a veteran far-right leader who has expressed a fondness for Hitler in the past. He got 58,572 votes, or .24 percent of the vote.

Biondini is also staunchly anti-Israel. In February, he said he will expel the Israeli ambassador from Argentina should he be elected.

“I define myself as a clear defender of the Palestinian State. I repudiate the colonialist genocidal Zionism. I reaffirm it: when I am president I will expel the British and the Israeli ambassadors,” he tweeted at the time.

When Biondini launched his campaign in May, he reiterated his promise and warned the country’s Jewish leadership, “I said to the DAIA (Argentina’s Jewish political umbrella organization) that this is Argentina… this is not Israel,” to applause and shouts from the crowd.

Biondini has openly espoused anti-Semitism and his admiration for Adolf Hitler. In a TV interview in 1999, he said, “We vindicate Adolf Hitler.”

In 1988, he led chants of “Death to traitors, cowards and Jews” at a gathering of extreme-right demonstrators in Buenos Aires

His previous party, New Triumph, was banned by Argentina’s electoral court in 2009. In November 2018, Buenos Aires Federal Judge Adolfo Gabino Ziulu granted approval to Biondini’s new party, Patriotic Front, a decision condemned by the Argentinean Jewish political umbrella, DAIA.

Biondini’s remarks in May followed a series of anti-Semitic incidents in Argentina. In one incident, swastikas were painted in front of a Jewish-owned barbershop in the traditional Jewish neighborhood of Villa Crespo in Buenos Aires.

A week earlier, a man wearing a kippah was beaten and subject to anti-Semitic epithets on a street in Buenos Aires.

In April, a man broke into a synagogue in Buenos Aires during Friday evening services, threatened the worshipers and shouted anti-Semitic slogans and curses.

In February, nine gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in the northwestern city of San Luis were vandalized.