Buenos Aires, December 15, 2008
In a series of high-level government meetings in Argentina, top leaders of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed profound disappointment over the lack of resolution in the investigation of two deadly terrorist attacks against Jews carried out by Hezbollah on instruction from Iran in Argentina more than 14 years ago. The Israel Embassy in Buenos Aires was bombed on March 17, 1994 and a suicide terrorist drove a car filled with explosives into the Jewish community's AMIA/DAIA building on July 18, 1994, killing more than 100 people and wounding hundreds of others.
The League's leaders expressed their concerns on the two terrorist attacks and conveyed alarm over the growing influence in Latin America of Iran the nation harboring the international masterminds of the Buenos Aires attacks as well as the close relationship between Argentina and Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.
Following their meetings with high-level government officials, Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director issued the following statement:
While some important progress has been made in recent years on the investigation, we share the frustration of the Argentine Jewish community that the perpetrators and collaborators of these heinous attacks have not yet been brought to justice.
Since 1992, Argentine authorities have said they are making this investigation a priority; but we keep waiting for concrete results. We worry that Argentina has not internalized that these terror attacks occurred in their own territory, killing their own population, and instead dismiss it as a 'Jewish issue'.
We are troubled that the true perpetrators of these evil acts are still at large. In particular, we are concerned that investigators have yet to identify and apprehend those inside Argentina who assisted the terrorists.
Among the government officials who met with ADL were Anbal Fernandez, Minister of Justice, Security and Human Rights; Jorge E. Taiana, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Minister Sergio Massa, Chief of Staff to President Cristina Fernandez; and Alberto Nisman, prosecutor of the AMIA case who gave a briefing on the latest results of the investigation.
The delegation paid tribute to the victims of the AMIA and Israeli Embassy bombings, visited the Holocaust Museum and attended Shabbat (Sabbath) services at Chabad Lubavitch Argentina, as a testimony of solidarity and tribute to the victims recently killed in the terrorist attack on the Chabad House in Mumbai.
The delegation also met with Dr. Alberto Sileoni, Vice-Minister of Education, to discuss the various anti-bias educational programs offered by the League, as well as with representatives of the Institute Against Discrimination and with religious and Jewish community leaders.
The League's trip was coordinated with the DAIA, the political umbrella organization of the Jewish community in Argentina.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.