The Algemeiner noted our commemoration of the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Jewish organizations on Sunday marked the 27th anniversary of the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.
The 1994 bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) was orchestrated by Iran and carried out by the terrorist group Hezbollah.
Despite decades of efforts by the Jewish community, the terrorists involved have never been brought to justice.
The six Iranian and Hezbollah operatives behind the attack have escaped arrest and prosecution, while investigating prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found murdered in 2015, before he was to unveil accusations of collusion between the governments of Argentina and Iran to cover up the attack.
B’nai Brith International marked the anniversary, and emphasized, “No perpetrators have been held accountable.”
Pro-Israel lobby AIPAC concentrated on those perpetrators, noting that the bombing was committed by Hezbollah “at the instruction of Iran’s top leadership.”
“Iran continues to fund and promote terrorism around the world,” they said.
American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris asked, “26 yrs later, who’s been caught, tried & imprisoned? No one.”
“Justice delayed is justice denied,” he said.
Michael Dickson, Executive Director of StandWithUs Israel, also noted the lack of accountability for the terrorists, and said the AMIA victims have been “struggling for justice ever since” the bombing.
The World Jewish Congress said that it and the Congreso Judío Latinoamericano, an umbrella organization for Latin American Jews, “are still leading efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
On Friday, the head of Argentina’s umbrella Jewish group lambasted the timing of a court hearing that was held as victims commemorated the anniversary of the attack.
The hearing was scheduled for Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to appear in an inquiry into a 2013 agreement her then-government had negotiated with Iran.
Delegation of Argentine Israelite Associations (DAIA) head Jorge Knoblovits said the timing was “unnecessarily confrontational and goes against the memory” of the victims.
“If the feelings of the victims of the greatest terrorist attack of the 20th century are disrespected, it is very difficult to reach justice and end impunity,” he said. “We are very ashamed and very embarrassed that you cannot wait two, three weeks or a month to exercise the right of defense, which you can do so legitimately and constitutionally. But to do so today is offensive.”
The Algemeiner quoted our tweet marking the anniversary of the March 17, 1992 terrorist bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires.
Israeli, Jewish, and Argentine leaders and institutions commemorated on Wednesday the anniversary of the March 17, 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, which killed 29 people.
A memorial service was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Israel’s embassy in Argentina produced a video in which the presidents and foreign ministers of Argentina and Israel, the Israeli ambassador to Argentina, and many others said the Spanish word “presente” — figuratively meaning “remember.”
Foreign Minister Ashkenazi marked the anniversary in a speech, saying, “We remember with pain the 29 victims of the attack and the dozens of injured, victims of a criminal act of terrorism.”
“We send our condolences to the families of those killed and our support to the injured,” he continued. “My heart and the hearts of the people of Israel are with the families of the victims, including the Israeli diplomats, their spouses, the dedicated Argentinian workers at the embassy, the passers-by who were caught up in the attack, and with the entire people of Argentina who also fell victim to such a severe terrorist attack.”
“Twenty-nine years have passed, and to this day none of those responsible for the criminal act have been brought to justice,” Ashkenazi noted. “This despite the fact that it is known that Iran was behind not only this attack but also the attack on the AMIA Jewish center that took place two years later, in 1994, in which 85 people were killed and hundreds were injured.”
“The State of Israel will continue to stand with the families of the fallen and demand that Argentina brings those responsible for the attack to justice,” he said.
Dan Poraz, a policy advisor to Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, outlined the attack in a Twitter thread, mourning the 29 victims — including three Israeli diplomats who left nine children behind — and noting the findings that Iran was behind the attack.
A joint Israeli-US-Argentine investigation, Poraz wrote, found that the attacks were authorized by Iran’s current “supreme leader” Ali Khamenei and that Hezbollah was ordered to carry out the atrocity by Iran’s minister of intelligence. Also collaborating in the attack were Iran’s ambassador and cultural attaché to Argentina.
“Since the ‘79 Islamic Revolution, the Iranian regime sees terror as a legitimate instrument to promote its political interests. #Iran has attempted, and in many cases succeeded, to carry out terror attacks, in all 5 continents,” Poraz said.
The American Jewish Committee tweeted, “We mourn the 29 people murdered and remember the heroism of those who saved lives. AJC awarded one of the heroes, U.S. Marine Corps Lt. B.G. Willison, our Moral Courage Award in 2017.”
The IDF tweeted, “Today, we remember the victims of the terror attack carried out by Hezbollah at the Israeli Embassy in Argentina 29 years ago.”
“Hezbollah’s terror is not only a threat to Israel but to the entire world,” it added.
B’nai Brith International commented, “The perpetrators must be brought to justice!”
“May those lost forever be a blessing,” they added.
Jason Greenblatt, who served as a Middle East advisor to the Trump administration, tweeted in response, “Thank you @IDF for all that you do to protect the Jewish State of Israel. Thank you for reminding people about this terrible attack at the Israeli Embassy in Argentina 29 years ago.”
“And let’s not forget who is behind Hezbollah and the murder & destruction that they cause,” he added, referring to Iran.
Remembrances came in from Argentina as well, with Álvaro González — a Buenos Aires deputy for the political coalition “Juntos por el Cambio” — tweeting in Spanish, “29 years after the attack on the Israeli embassy, we remember the victims and we continue to demand justice.”
Op-Ed By Daniel S. Mariaschin in the Jerusalem Post - Iran, Argentina and a 25-Year-Old Terror Attack
In the wake of the 25th anniversary of the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, B'nai B'rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin wrote an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post about the need for justice in this still-unresolved case.
Next month will mark the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the AMIA building in Buenos Aires, which took the lives of 85 people and injured more than 300. The attack on the social services hub of the Argentine Jewish community remains the largest terrorist attack in Latin America. Memorial services marking a quarter century since the attack will begin this month.
To this day, justice has not been served to the victims and their families.
For three years in the wake of the attack, the judge heading the inquiry produced 22 arrests – mostly Buenos Aires provincial policemen – and a trial that, in the end, amounted to nothing more than a diversionary wild goose chase. A representative of our organization attended every day of the nearly three-year trial.
But the stench of a cover-up hovered over those proceedings. Not-guilty verdicts were handed down for those brought to trial, and the judge was later impeached for attempting to bribe a witness to give testimony incriminating police officers and for his general mishandling of the case. He was summarily removed from his post.
But what did come out of early scrutiny of the attack was the unmistakable hand of the Iranian regime. At first, it was studied speculation, but by 2006, two prosecutors in the case officially put the finger on Tehran. Operatives connected to the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires were identified, but at that point, they all had made their way out of the country.
The case was turned over to two new prosecutors, Alberto Nisman and Marcelo Martínez Burgos, who in 2007 brought the matter to Interpol. They had requested that “red notices,” or arrest warrants, be issued to nine suspects, including former Iranian president Ali Rafsanjani, former Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati and former Iranian ambassador to Argentina Hadi Soleimanpour. Interpol’s executive committee let those three officials off the hook, choosing instead to issue notices for the other six suspects.
Years passed, but Nisman, now working alone, pressed ahead. In 2015, he was ready to release evidence that a deal had been negotiated at the highest levels of the two governments, which would see Tehran deliver oil to Argentina in exchange for food, weapons and a pledge to convince Interpol to drop the red notices on the terrorist suspects.
On the eve of this information being shared in the Argentine Congress, Nisman was found dead, from what the authorities called a suicide. Doubt immediately surfaced, given the nature of the charges Nisman was about to bring. Subsequently, the mysterious circumstances of Nisman’s death have become clarified, and evidence points to him having been murdered.
THE AMIA CASE is only one in a litany of terrorist acts carried out on foreign soil by the Iranian regime.
In 1992, in what foreshadowed the attack on the AMIA building two years later, a suicide bomber attacked the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 and injuring 242. Responsibility was claimed by the Islamic Jihad organization, a group believed to have ties to Iran’s Lebanese proxy Hezbollah. Also that year, three Iranian opposition leaders and their translator were killed at the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin. The verdict in that case pointed to Iran’s highest officials – as believed to be the case in the AMIA bombing – having signed off on the attack. In 1996, in an attack on the Khobar Towers housing complex in Saudi Arabia, a truck bomb killed 19 American soldiers and a Saudi citizen, and nearly 500 people were injured. While credit was not claimed, it is widely and authoritatively believed that Hezbollah was behind the attack.
Iran’s malign behavior operates on three fronts: its pursuit of nuclear weapons; its support for and use of terrorist proxies in the Middle East and beyond; and its serial abuse of human rights of women, adherents of the Baha’i faith, political dissenters, juvenile offenders and the LGBTQ community.
The Trump administration has rightly pointed to serious omissions in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the multi-lateral agreement meant to curb Iran’s nuclear program. But in bringing Iran to the table, the international community made a monumental error in judgment in not opening talks at the same time on the other two legs of Tehran’s destructive behavior. Had it done so, we might well have been able to shine a conclusive light on the activities of its agents in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994.
Today, at the site of the AMIA bombing, there is a stunning memorial to those killed on that day 25 years ago, created by the Israeli artist Yaakov Agam. Perhaps more touching are the names of the victims listed at the site: professionals of Jewish organizations, office workers and people from the community who had come to seek assistance for one or another personal or family matter. A van packed with 600 pounds of explosives put an end to all of that, in seconds.
The Iranians are still at it. They’ve provided Hezbollah with more than 100,000 rockets, and Hamas with many thousands. They work with the likes of Hugo Chavez and Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuela, and with North Korea. They have taken over Lebanon, have ensconced themselves in Syria and are meddling in Iraq, Yemen and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Tehran has used the JCPOA as cover for its other nefarious activities. It has enjoyed impunity for far too long. Its decades-long record of promoting terrorism to advance its hegemonic objectives demands accountability and international opprobrium. That the European Union could not agree on designating Hezbollah a terrorist organization (it ultimately created the fiction of military and political “wings” of the organization so it could have it both ways) speaks to the failure of international will to confront the Iranian menace.
In the meantime, a quarter century has passed without the perpetrators of the AMIA bombing and their sponsor being brought to account. For the sake of the victims and their families, is it too much to ask that justice be served? If we are to turn the tide on state sponsored terrorism, let it begin here – before the dust collects on memory while those who were responsible remain free.
JBS spoke with B'nai B'rith International's Special Advisor on Latin American Affairs Adriana Camisar for its In the News program, spotlighting the 25th anniversary of the Israeli embassy bombing in Buenos Aires.
Host Teisha Bader interviews Camisar on the 1992 attack "as well as about the murder of Jewish special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, and the state of the Jewish community in Latin America."
Scroll down to watch the interview or click here to watch it on YouTube.
B'nai B'rith Special Advisor on Latin America Affairs Adriana Camisar wrote about how there is hope for Argentine Federal Prosecutor Alberto Nisman's complaint against former Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman to see the light of day.
Nisman charged that they secretly negotiated a pact with Iran in order to get impunity for the Iranians accused of plotting and executing the AMIA attack. Nisman's complaint will finally be investigated. He “mysteriously” died days after making extremely these serious allegations.
The blog was published by The Times of Israel. Click the button below to read it on their website or scroll down.
Camisar's blog was also published in Spanish by the Argentine news outlet El Tribuno. Click below to read the Spanish version.
Jan. 18 will mark the second anniversary of the “mysterious” death of Argentine Federal Prosecutor Alberto Nisman. For more than ten years, Nisman had been in charge of the investigation of the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires.
He was found dead in his apartment four days after making extremely serious allegations against then President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, her Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman and other people close to the government. Nisman stated he had extensive evidence that the government had secretly negotiated a pact with Iran in order to get impunity for the Iranians accused of plotting and executing the AMIA attack.
The pact the prosecutor was referring to—known as the Memorandum of Understanding—was signed in January 2013. Through this agreement, both governments pledged to create a "truth commission" to jointly investigate the AMIA bombing, something as absurd as creating a Nazi commission to investigate the Holocaust. At the time, the government justified the signing of this pact on the need to discover the truth. However, it seemed clear to most people who knew the case, that the signing of this pact represented a major shift in Argentina’s foreign policy, as it attempted to improve relations with Teheran at the expense of the bombing’s many victims.
The pact never came into force because the Iranian Parliament did not ratify it, and also because it was ultimately declared unconstitutional by an Argentine Federal Court. But it would have given the Iranians access to all the documentation of the case, and made it easier for them to get rid of the Interpol red alerts that Nisman had secured against the accused.
Nisman’s death left the country in shock and there are still no clear answers as to what exactly happened to him. However, there is now some hope that his complaint will finally be investigated.
Right after Nisman’s death, a brave prosecutor tried to get the courts to open a serious investigation into his allegations. But Daniel Rafecas, the judge assigned to the case, dismissed his complaint in a very expedited way and with questionable legal arguments. His ruling was appealed but the Federal Court quickly dismissed it as well. A federal prosecutor subsequently appealed this decision before the Court of Cassation—the last resort that the Argentine criminal system admits before resorting to the Supreme Court. But the prosecutor who needed to allow the case to get to the Court of Cassation failed to do it (probably because of his known ties with the former government) and therefore, all doors seemed to get closed and most Argentineans believed that a proper investigation would never take place.
However, several things changed since then. On Dec. 10, 2016, Mauricio Macri took office as the new president of Argentina, and one of the first things he did was to let the pact with Iran die. He did this by not appealing the ruling that had declared it unconstitutional. Macri also said that he expected the judiciary to act with independence and to get to the truth.
Several months ago, the Delegation of Argentine Israelite Associations (DAIA), which is the Jewish umbrella organization in Argentina, made a new presentation alleging that the case should be re-opened because of “newly found evidence,” and requested to be admitted as a plaintiff. The new pieces of evidence submitted were a recording that was found in which Timerman—in a conversation with the former head of the AMIA—conceded that he was negotiating with the ones that “placed the bomb,” and the ruling that declared that the pact with Iran was unconstitutional.
Rafecas, the original judge of the case dismissed the request and so did the Federal Court, but when the issue got to the Court of Cassation once again, they finally decided to re-open the investigation. The Court of Cassation accepted the DAIA as a plaintiff and ordered Rafecas and the other judges that had intervened to withdraw from the case.
For the first time in two years the possibility to get to the truth seems real. And, of course, this case could shed light on what really happened to Nisman, as his death is undoubtedly linked to his complaint.
It is still too early to know if the investigation will go as far as it needs to go, but the re-opening of the case is certainly a promising sign
#Argentina2016 Twitter Coverage:
B'nai B'rith leadership joined the rest of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations of the United States on a mission to Buenos Aires to express solidarity in their concerns over the ongoing AMIA bombing investigation, particularly the unresolved death of former prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
The delegation met with Congresswomen Patricia Bullrich and Laura Alonso, authorities from DAIA on AMIA, Eduardo Elztain, Rabbi Sergio Bergman, Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Marcos Aguinis, among others.
B'nai B'rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin and Mario Wilhelm, president of B'nai B'rith Argentina, represented the organization in those meetings.
The visit was covered by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Buenos Aires Herald as well as Spanish newspapers Iton Gadol, La Nacion, Infobae, Cronista, Clarín highlights of which can be found below:
Following the tragic and mysterious death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman in January, just hours before he was scheduled to deliver his findings on the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, a new name has been introduced to the case.
Daniel Rafecas, a respected human rights and Holocaust expert and former B'nai B'rith Argentina honoree, has assigned the next step of the investigation, according to articles by Arutz Sheva (English), Agence France-Presse (Spanish) and Agence France-Presse (Portuguese).
Separate investigation continues into the circumstances of Nisman's death, details of which are included in the full coverage below:
Por otra parte, el juez Daniel Rafecas, experto en derechos humanos y en el Holocausto, tomará la causa del supuesto encubrimiento de la presidenta Fernández a exgobernantes iraníes.
Rafecas juzgó a militares de la dictadura (1976-83) por delitos de lesa humanidad y por sus estudios sobre la Shoá que perpetraron los nazis recibió los premios Derechos Humanos de la Fundación B’nai B’rith, Moisés 2011 de la Sociedad Hebraica Argentina y Gilbert Lewi de la Fundación Museo del Holocausto de Buenos Aires.
O juiz Daniel Rafecas, especialista em direitos humanos e sobre o Holocausto, acolherá a denúncia de suspeita de acobertamento contra a presidente Cristina Kirchner a favor de ex-governantes iranianos, supostamente envolvidos em um atentado antissemita em 1994, em Buenos Aires.
Rafecas julgou militares da ditadura (1976-83) por crimes contra a humanidade e foi agraciado por seus estudos sobre a Shoá praticada pelos nazistas com os prêmios de Direitos Humanos da Fundação B'nai B'rith, Moisés 2011 da Sociedade Hebraica Argentina e Gilbert Lewi, da Fundação Museu do Holocausto de Buenos Aires.
More on Nisman's Death Below
On Tuesday evening, B'nai B'rith Argentina held its annual recognition ceremony for the Human Rights awards recipients. Embassy representatives from Germany, Brazil, Greeze and Bulgaria joined B'nai B'rith and community leaders attending the event.
This year's four winners are: Beatriz Pellizzari from The Plant, a project dedicated to helping people with disabilities to have a better life; Rabbi Alexander Avruj and Father Jose Maria (Pepe) Di Paola for the work they have done combating homelessness and hunger over the last decade; and Dr. Fernando Polack from the Infant Foundation, working to prevent infant and adolescent deaths through disease prevention and education.
The event has been covered extensively by Vis A Vis in tweets and articles (links here and here), highlights of which can be found, below (Spanish):
B'nai B'rith Argentina announced the recipients of their 2014 Human Rights awards, which will be bestowed on four individuals in a ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 4 in Buenos Aires.
The announcement was featured in a blog post on Vis a Vis, and can be seen below in its entirety (Spanish):
Argentina: B'nai B'rith At 76th Anniversary of Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) in Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral (Spanish)
B'nai B'rith Argentina's Commission on Interfaith Dialogue helped organize an interfaith event around the 76th anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass, a pogrom against Jews in Nazi Germany and Austria that saw tens of thousands rounded up and sent to concentration camps.
The event will be help on Sunday, Nov. 9 at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires. The event is designed to remind people of all faiths about the power of hate put into action.
A preview of the event can be found on the Spanish-speaking Argentinian Jewish website Vis-A-Vis. Read an excerpt of the announcement below:
Organizan el evento la Comisión Arquidiocesana de Ecumenismo y Diálogo Interreligioso de la Arquidiócesis de Buenos Aires, la Comisión de Diálogo Interconfesional de B’nai B’rith Argentina; y cuenta con la participación de la Comunidad Lamroth Hakol y el auspicio de numerosas organizaciones que adhieren al Diálogo Interreligioso.
“… La Shoá fue un drama con características peculiares que se distingue, por su horror, de entre los ignominiosos crímenes que asolaron a pueblos y naciones. Nos demuestra cuan terrible es la obra del odio y la necesidad de que el recuerdo ayude a resistir el mal y a hacer que triunfe el bien y el amor", Párrafo de una carta del 23/6/13 de S.S. el Papa FRANCISCO.
The International Congress on Religious Freedom convened in Cordoba, Argentina, to discuss "Religious Freedom in the 21st Century: Religion, State and Society."
A preview posted on LaVoz and a recap article on Periodista Digital both note that B'nai B'rith Argentina was one of the member organization in attendance. Read more about the event, below (Spanish):
On the latest edition of Radio JAI, Eduardo Kohn, B'nai B'rith director of Latin American Affairs, discusses several important issues facing the continent's Jewish population.
Topics include: the people of Israel are united against the ongoing attack by Hamas; anti-Semitic attacks in the United States, Europe, Latin America; the unacceptable calls for Israeli restraint by Latin American countries; Iran and the 20th anniversary of the AMIA bombings.
Listen to the full podcast below:
Eduardo Kohn, director ejecutivo de la Bnai Brith para Latinoamérica, reflexionó en Radio Jai acerca de la delicada situación que se vive en Israel, debido a los incesantes misiles que caen desde Gaza. "Mientras Hamas pide la desaparición de Israel, el Estado judío le pide a Hamas que deje de bombardear a su población civil", señaló.
In the 20 years since the tragic bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires, no progress has been made to hold the Iranians accountable.
That is the premise of an op-ed penned by B'nai B'rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin, which appeared in the Times of Israel the day before the 20th anniversary.
Mariaschin walks through the timeline and the politics surrounding the event, which remains the most devastating terrorist act ever in Latin America.
Read his full op-ed below:
Buenos Aires: The other Iranian crime
The deadline for reaching an accord between the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, China, France and Russia, plus Germany) and Iran on the country’s secretive nuclear program — July 20 – is fast approaching. Reports in recent days have indicated the usual foot-dragging and prevarication on Iran’s part, which we have come to know over the years, reinforcing skepticism that a genuine deal to move Tehran from its objective of developing nuclear weapons can actually take place.
But there is another July date focusing on Iran, important in its own way, which may escape international attention in the midst of the meltdown of Iraq: July 18 marks the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the AMIA Jewish social service center in Buenos Aires. On that day in 1994, a massive terror bombing in the heart of the Argentine capitol killed 85 and wounded another 300. It stands as the most devastating terrorist act ever in Latin America.
In the aftermath of the bombing, the international community was led down a primrose path of arrests and a trial. It came to naught when it was clear that all of this was based on a faulty investigation and trumped-up charges. The masterminds and perpetrators of the crime — now universally believed to be Iranian agents and their higher-ups in Tehran — nor any local accomplices, have to date been brought to justice.
In 2005 then-President Néstor Kirchner’s government issued a decree formally accepting a share in the blame for the abject failure of the investigation, calling it a “national disgrace” and a widespread cover-up of the facts. That was followed by the appointment of a highly competent prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, who set out, in some detail, how top Iranian leaders had ordered Hezbollah to carry out the attack.
Nisman, working quickly, formally charged Hezbollah and its Iranian masters with the bombing, and called for the arrest of then-Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani and seven others, including Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s defense minister and former commander of the Revolutionary Guards. Nisman’s case was compelling, and in 2007, Argentine authorities secured Interpol arrest warrants for five Iranians and a Lebanese national. With these Interpol “Red Notices” issued, some assumed the case was on its way to being resolved.
Even a casual observer of Iranian behavior would have come to the quick conclusion that Tehran never had any intention of arresting, extraditing or otherwise cooperating on the AMIA case. Matters stalled for five additional years, until Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, in a U.N. General Assembly speech in 2012, inexplicably announced that meetings with Iran would take place on the sidelines of the United Nations to resolve the matter, as if Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had undergone veracity transplants.
And then, the ultimate Iranian ruse: Early last year came the announcement that the governments of Iran and Argentina had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a “truth commission” to investigate the bombing. Defending the agreement, Argentine authorities explained that while trials in absentia cannot be held in the country, prosecutors could travel to Tehran to depose witnesses.
Sounds good if you’re going to Canada or the Netherlands to gather evidence. But did anyone remotely familiar with how Iran conducts business really think that, for example, it would serve up Vahidi to be questioned by a visiting Argentinian judicial official?
By a narrow vote, the Argentine Chamber of Deputies approved the MOU. Shortly thereafter, the indefatigable and undaunted Nisman, now working under the weight of the ill-conceived MOU, published a 502-page indictment, accusing Iran of establishing terrorist networks throughout Latin America, dating back to the 1980s.
Earlier this year, the Argentine Federal Criminal Appeals Court struck down the MOU, stating that it conflicts with, and undermines an on-going investigation approved years ago by the government’s executive and legislative branches, an order both the Kirchners endorsed. The court ruled the agreement with Iran unconstitutional. The government recently appealed the ruling. Some Argentinian legislators and legal experts make the case that trials in absentia are indeed constitutional. But those suggestions will now be on hold while the appeal process soaks up valuable time, further stalling the drive to bring much-needed closure to this horrific act.
A year-and-a-half later, the MOU has produced zero results. No surprise in that. A country that seeks nuclear weapons, threatens its neighbors, sends rockets to terrorist organizations, supports the ruling regime in Damascus and is a serial abuser of human rights, would not likely own up to the murder and mayhem in caused on that July day in Buenos Aires in 1994. And because of that, 20-years and counting, there continues to be no justice for the victims and their families.
Following the IDF's discovery of three bodies belonging to the kidnapped Israeli teens, B'nai B'rith International issued a statement expressing horror at the murders and condolences to the families of the victims.
The statement joined a chorus of international outrage, calling for justice, and was featured in El Pais, an Argentinian Spanish newspaper.
Excerpts from the El Pais article can be found below:
La organización internacional judía B´nai B´rith expresó hoy "el dolor de sus miembros" por el asesinato de tres jóvenes israelíes, que según el gobierno de Israel habían sido secuestrados por el movimiento terrorista islámico Hamas.
"Estas muertes solo atribuibles al odio detentado por los terroristas fundamentalistas aportan más dolor y desesperanza a la búsqueda de la paz y a la convivencia entre los pueblos palestino e israelí", dice el comunicado.
"Hacemos votos para que los máximos representantes de la Autoridad Palestina asuman las obligaciones y responsabilidades que le son propias para la persecución y castigo a los responsables del secuestro y asesinato de los tres jóvenes israelíes", agrega el texto de la organización judía.
El Club de Amistad para No Videntes, que patrocina el Centro de Acción Comunitaria de B’nai B’rith Argentina, celebró sus primeros 55 años de existencia el pasado lunes 26 de mayo, durante una de sus reuniones quincenales regulares que se realizan de marzo a diciembre.
Fundado por las mujeres miembros de la Filial “Tradición”, brinda un marco de pertenencia socio-cultural y recreativa, sin discriminación étnica, social ni religiosa y en forma totalmente gratuita, a un importante grupo de no videntes, que en número de 30 a 50 participan de cada una de las actividades.
En l980 y en l987 esta entidad de B’nai B’rith fue premiada por el Consejo de Mujeres Argentinas con el premio "María Catalina Marchi”.
Ilse Swatch, una de las más antiguas voluntarias que colabora activamente en la organización de la actividades de este club y Mirta Shejter, coordinadora del mismo, explicaron, en diálogo con la Agencia Judía de Noticias/Iton Gadol, que las actividades que se llevan a cabo son las que los propios miembros del grupo deciden y que B’nai B’rith, además de su sede, brinda una merienda y un espectáculo musical. También dijeron que normalmente asisten a cada una de las reuniones quincenales, que se efectúan los días lunes de 16 a 18 hs.
Durante la celebración, en la que los no videntes acompañaron a un conjunto musical cantando y luego alguno de ellos bailaron conocidas piezas musicales, Daniel Sport, Director del Centro de Acción Comunitaria de B’nai B’rith Argentina y recientemente designado Secretario General de la institución, manifestó que es un orgullo para la B’nai B’rit que en su casa funcione el Club de Amistad para No Videntes.
“Este es un grupo probablemente único dentro de las actividades de la comunidad judía de la Argentina y posiblemente también del país, este club de no videntes que cumple 55 años ininterrumpidos de tarea y está promovido y abierto a toda la comunidad y la sociedad en general pues no hay distinción de religión ni de ninguna otra característica, vienen de todas las edades. Es un grupo variado que tiene una actividad recreativa musical, bailable y también de formación intelectual. Es algo muy atractivo y de crecimiento para todos. La B’nai B’rith, en sus orígenes, tenía filiales que sostenían a sus propias organizaciones, pero con el paso del tiempo muchas de esas organizaciones, como el Club de No Videntes, paso a ser responsabilidad de la institución madre".
On the latest edition of Radio JAI, Eduardo Kohn, B'nai B'rith director of Latin American Affairs, discusses several important issues facing the continent's Jewish population.
The topic this week revisits the 1994 AMIA bombings in Buenos Aires, the denial of involvement by Iran and B'nai B'rith's response to an Argentine court's decision to dissolve the fictitious "Truth Commission."
Listen to the full podcast:
Daniel Mariaschin, vicepresidente y CEO de la B'nai B'rith Mundial, concedió una entrevista al diario “El País”, en que expresa el descontento de la organización con el acercamiento entre Uruguay y Palestina –materializado en los votos en la ONU a favor del Estado Palestino-, alegando que es necesario que Palestina no se sienta respaldada cuando negocia con el Estado israelí.
Habló también de la preocupación por la posibilidad de que presos de Guantánamo sean recibidos en Uruguay, y se refirió al crecimiento del antisemitismo en el mundo. También, en más de una ocasión, alude a Irán en términos que el comunicado define como mentiras infundadas:
“Hemos estado seriamente preocupados en los últimos años sobre la penetración de la influencia iraní, sobre todo en América Latina. Los países de este hemisferio son democracias que verdaderamente no tienen nada en común con el régimen iraní, no deberían tener nada en común. Irán es un abusador de los derechos humanos, es un Estado patrocinador del terrorismo, y está trabajando en un arma nuclear", expresa Mariaschin.
"El 18 de julio es el 20 aniversario del atentado a la AMIA en Buenos Aires. Los iraníes estuvieron profundamente vinculados en este crimen, las huellas digitales están allí, e Irán no ha demostrado un interés demostrable de cambiar sus modos. Ahora mismo están apoyando a Hezbollah, que es instrumental del apoyo de Bashar Al Assad en Siria, con la continuación y perpetuación del régimen sirio que ha matado a 150 mil personas”, agrega el vicepresidente y CEO de la B'nai B'rith Mundial.
Shalom TV Daily News featured B'nai B'rith International's statement praising the decision by an Argentine federal court to strike down the agreement between Argentina and Iran to create the “Commission of Truth.”
The agreement called for an “independent” group that would investigate the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and wounded 300. The court ruled the agreement unconstitutional.
B’nai B’rith opposed the agreement the moment it was signed in January of 2013. As recently as this week, President Allan J. Jacobs and Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin met with the Argentine foreign minister to express their concerns over the agreement.
Read the full press release here.The story begins at the 3:08 mark in the video:
"La comunidad judía sufre los mismos problemas que todos los argentinos. En 2001, iniciamos un programa de ayuda comunitaria a personas necesitadas. Puede ser que hoy la comunidad judía aquí esté algo mejor, pero cuando estamos mal, estamos todos mal." Es la apreciación de Allan J. Jacobs, presidente de B'Nai B'rith Internacional, que hizo una visita al país en su gira a Uruguay y Chile.
Líder de una de las organizaciones dedicadas a la asistencia social no sólo de la comunidad judía sino abierta a otras realidades, Jacobs viajó acompañado por el vicepresidente Daniel S. Mariaschin y el director para América latina con sede en Montevideo, Eduardo Kohn.
En Buenos Aires, además de dialogar con autoridades nacionales como el canciller Héctor Timerman, la cúpula de B'nai B'rith asistió a la ceremonia de asunción de las autoridades locales, encabezadas por Mario Wilhelm, que renovó su mandato, y de Jorge Burkman, como vicepresidente.
Primera organización judía en adquirir status de ONG ante la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), B'nai B'rith funciona en 60 países y está reconocida por las Naciones Unidas y la Unión Europea.
En diálogo con LA NACION, Jacobs sostuvo que "B'nai B'rith trabaja muy bien en el campo social en la Argentina tanto dentro de la comunidad judía como fuera de ella". Y destacó que desde la crisis de 2001, la institución ha sido una de las principales entidades junto con organizaciones no gubernamentales norteamericanas que asistió a quienes necesitaban. "Con la Fundación OSDE tenemos un proyecto exitoso de entrega de medicamentos desde hace 12 años. Ya hemos repartido más de 80 millones de dólares en medicamentos en todo el país. Cuando fueron las inundaciones en Santa Fe como cuando comenzó la crisis en 2001, hicimos una ayuda abierta a todo el país", añadió.
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