Rage­live­son20years af­ter hor­ror of Amia

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY ADAM FE­IN­STEIN

FEEL­INGS HAVE been run­ning high ahead of the July 18 an­niver­sary of the 1994 bomb­ing of the Amia Jewish cen­tre in Buenos Aires which killed 85 people and wounded more than 300.

The protests be­gan at the World Cup in Brazil. Demon­stra­tors pick­eted the Mineirao Sta­dium in Belo Hor­i­zonte be­fore the Ar­gentina-Iran match. They held ban­ners which read: “Twenty years with­out jus­tice” and “a red card for lack of jus­tice”.

The Ar­gen­tinian au­thor­i­ties have ac­cused eight Ira­ni­ans of car­ry­ing out the Amia at­tack — in­clud­ing its for­mer Pres­i­dent, Ali Raf­san­jani — and de­manded their ex­tra­di­tion.

The World Jewish Congress asked Fifa to hold a minute’s si­lence be­fore the match but the re­quest was re­jected.

Ar­gentina and Iran signed a con­tro­ver­sial Me­moran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing in Ad­dis Ababa in Jan­uary 2013. Un­der this agree­ment, they pledged a joint probe into the bomb­ing. This pro­voked anger, both from those who con­sider the Ira­ni­ans re­spon­si­ble for the at­tack and from those who be­lieve the Ar­gen­tinian govern­ment is cov­er­ing up the truth. On May 15, a court in Buenos Aires de­clared the agree­ment un­con­sti­tu­tional but the rul­ing was ap­pealed by the govern­ment.

Over the past two weeks, po­lice stepped up se­cu­rity around Jewish in­sti­tu­tions across Buenos Aires fol­low­ing bomb threats.

Sev­eral events to mark the an­niver­sary were planned for Buenos Aires this week by groups rep­re­sent­ing Ar­gentina’s Jewish com­mu­nity — at around 200,000, the largest in Latin Amer­ica.

Amia it­self and Daia, the um­brella or­gan­i­sa­tion rep­re­sent­ing Ar­gen­tinian Jews, will hold a cer­e­mony at Amia’s head­quar­ters while Memo­ria Ac­tiva will demon­strate in front of the main court. An­other group, 18-J, is to hold a march in the Plaza de Mayo.

The leader of Memo­ria Ac­tiva, Diana Mala­mud, mother of one of the vic­tims of the Amia bomb­ing, said her or­gan­i­sa­tion’s protest would be in open de­fi­ance of both Amia and Daia: “Their lead­ers did not pro­tect us, did not share our pain or de­mands for jus­tice,” she said. She was par­tic­u­larly dis­ap­pointed that Amia and Daia had sup­ported the Buenos Aires-Tehran agree­ment.

Laura Gins­berg, whose hus­band, José, died in the bomb­ing, said there were “pro­found po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences” be­tween the vic­tims’ or­gan­i­sa­tions.

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

left)

PHOTO: AP

Aprotester at the Ar­gentina-Iran match ( and (above) the aftermath of the 1994 car bomb at­tack on the Amia Jewish cen­tre in Buenos Aires

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