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Jewish Tours Argentina



Anti-Semitism and Racism


The Case of the Israeli Embassy

During the course of 1997, the DAIA broke off relations with the special court investigating the bombing of the Israeli embassy in 1992, charging that the court was wasting time in the pursuit of unlikely theories raised by some of the judges, such as that right-wing Jewish extremists were implicated. The DAIA tried to convince the court of a link between the bombing of the embassy and that of the AMIA Jewish community building in 1994.

On October 22, 1997, the Argentinean ambassador in Beirut in 1992 and another embassy official confirmed the tentative findings of the investigation concerning the origins of the money, in American dollars, for buying the car used in the bombing of the Israeli embassy in March 1992. The ambassador and the official also confirmed that two days after the bombing in Buenos Aires, they sent a fax with the principal facts to the Lebanese press, and that a statement of the Islamic Jihad accepting responsibility for the bombing appeared in the newspaper An Nahar. This new information put the investigation of the embassy bombing back on track, with the focus on two directions: extremist Islamic terrorism, and local Argentinean connections and help.

The AMIA Case

Developments in the AMIA bombing investigation again revealed the links between corruption, ant-Semitism and terrorist acts. Progress in this investigation was made only in mid-1997, when four police officers were arrested. One of them, Juan José Ribelli, a former police commander, was charged with supplying the van used in the attack  In September, the DAIA gave Judge José Galeano a document entitled "La Denuncia," i.n which the people involved, directly or indirectly, in the attack were denounced, as well as those who, actively or passively, obstructed the advance of the investigation. As a result, the federal police set up a special anti-terrorist commission to work closely with Judge Galeano, and the government gave priority to the issue as a national problem.

Legal Action

The governor of the province of Córdoba refused to let Jews take the Jewish holidays which fall in September-October, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as paid vacation days from their workplaces. In an interview which took place just after the governor's declaration, DAIA President Dr. Victor Sevilla reminded him of the provisions of Law No. 24, 571, article no. 1, which states that for all inhabitants of Argentina who practice the Jewish religion, the Jewish New Year (two days) and the Day of Atonement, (one day) are to be considered holidays. The governor apologized to the Jewish community

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