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Katz welcomes incoming Argentinian ambassador, a rabbi

Ambassador Rabbi Shimon Wahnish—the spiritual leader of Argentina's pro-Jewish president—previously led the Moroccan Jewish community of Buenos Aires.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz welcomed Argentina's incoming ambassador, Rabbi Shimon "Axel" Wahnish, during a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, June 24, 2024. Credit: Israel Katz/X.
Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz welcomed Argentina's incoming ambassador, Rabbi Shimon "Axel" Wahnish, during a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, June 24, 2024. Credit: Israel Katz/X.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz on Monday welcomed Argentina’s incoming envoy, Rabbi Shimon “Axel” Wahnish, during a meeting in Jerusalem.

“I had the pleasure today of receiving the new ambassador of Argentina to Israel, Shimon Wahnish, on the day of his inauguration,” tweeted Katz.

The top diplomat noted that under the leadership of President Javier Milei, the relationship between the two nations will reach new heights. “I am sure that we will soon see the new embassy of Argentina in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the State of Israel,” added Katz.

Rabbi Wahnish—the spiritual leader of Argentina’s pro-Jewish president—previously led the Moroccan Jewish community of Buenos Aires. He holds a bachelor’s degree in educational psychology and also studied at the ultra-Orthodox Negev Yeshivah in the Israeli city of Netivot.

Milei and Wahnish met in 2021 after the former faced accusations of antisemitism while serving as a senator. The two subsequently developed a close relationship, studying Torah together.

As Milei rose to national prominence, the politician remained close with Washnish, attending lectures at the Great Temple of Piedras Street and joining the rabbi’s family for Shabbat dinners and Jewish holidays.

In February, Milei and Washnish visited the Jewish state on one of the president’s first diplomatic trips since being elected four months prior. The three-day solidarity visit signaled a shift in Buenos Aires’s policy toward the United States and Israel after decades of backing Arab countries.

Upon landing in Tel Aviv, Milei immediately reiterated his pledge to move his nation’s embassy to Jerusalem and open a new chapter in bilateral relations. He said he was also working on a project to declare Hamas a terrorist organization, calling this “one more token of the historical closeness, and support and friendship between our peoples.”

The trip also included a visit to a kibbutz on Gaza border that was hard-hit by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7, a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem and a stop for prayer at the Western Wall.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Milei during a meeting at his office in Jerusalem, “Your stalwart support for Israel in so many forms is deeply, deeply appreciated. Welcome to Jerusalem. Welcome, friend.”

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