The tragedy is compounded by the fact that the Iranian terrorists who perpetrated the attack have not been brought to justice.
Fifteen years ago today, in the morning hours of 18 July 1994, a powerful explosion rocked the peaceful city of Buenos Aires. A terrorist attack had been launched against the city’s Jewish community center, AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina).
Tragically, 85 people lost their lives in the attack and hundreds more were injured, all victims of international terrorism. The seven-story AMIA building, the central location for Argentina’s Jewish communal activities, was totally reduced to rubble and the community’s archives were destroyed in the bombing.
The pain and sorrow caused by this antisemitic attack is compounded by the fact that those responsible for this horrifying act have not yet been brought to justice. However, those responsible for the attack have not remained anonymous. After thorough investigation, the Argentinian magistrate concluded that Iran was responsible for the attack and for dispatching the murderers. The government of Argentina appealed to Interpol in 2006 and again in 2007 to issue arrest warrants for a number of suspects, and this appeal was approved by the Interpol General Assembly.
This terrorist attack constitutes further evidence of the antisemitic nature of the fanatical Iranian regime. As Iran aggressively seeks to expand its influence in Latin America, we denounce it before the entire world for standing behind many international terrorist attacks, for financing, training and arming terrorist organizations, for striving to obtain nuclear weapons and for threatening to wipe Israel off the map.
At this difficult hour, the people and government of Israel identify with the bereaved families, with the Jewish community in Argentina and with all the people of Argentina. Concurrently, we would like to congratulate the Jewish community, which has managed to recover from the tragic event, to restore the community and maintain firm ties with the State of Israel. Furthermore, we endorse the Argentinian government’s efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Message from Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on the anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires:
On July 18, 2009, we mark 15 years since the criminal attack against the AMIA building – the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were murdered and hundreds injured. The seven-story building that collapsed in the attack was home to widespread activity by numerous organizations and institutions representing Zionist Argentinean Jewry.
Next week I shall be visiting Argentina and the reconstructed AMIA building, to convey the Israeli government and the entire Jewish people’s unequivocal message of solidarity and shared destiny with the wonderful Jewish community of Argentina. This community succeeded in recovering and rehabilitating itself after the destruction caused by deadly terror, and in reestablishing the community center where bustling Jewish activity has resumed.
As established in the investigation of the terror strike on the AMIA building, and published in the report of the special prosecutor appointed by the government of Argentina, the perpetrators behind the attack were Iran – a nation that openly sponsors terror – and its operative arm, Hizbullah; and they continue to sow ruin and destruction in Israel and throughout the world.
Nowadays the world may be divided into terrorists and their extremist supporters, and people aspiring to peace, freedom and democracy. The only way to safeguard our free world from the murderers who seek to destroy it is for all the democracies to collaborate in waging a relentless fight to wipe out all terrorism.
This is a difficult war in which we, unlike our enemies, retain our humanity and uphold the sanctity of life. The terrorists, in contrast, will stop at nothing, slaughtering innocent civilians, women and children, and exploiting the civilian population as human shields, hiding behind them as they commit their crimes. We are all obligated to take action so that the criminals who have twice carried out their despicable attacks in Buenos Aires will be brought to justice.
May the memory of all the victims be blessed.