AMIA: anniversary of an outrage

18 Jul 2011 by CST

Today is the 17th anniversary of the terrorist bombing of the AMIA Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which killed 85 people.

This was, and remains, the worst terrorist outrage against a Jewish target in the history of modern terrorism. To date, the alleged perpetrators of the AMIA bombing have not yet faced justice.

Argentina has issued arrest warrants for several Iranians and a Lebanese national: one of whom is Ahmed Vahidi, the current Iranian Defence Minister. Iran and Hezbollah have long been suspected of carrying out the bombing. Iran has recently offered to co-operate with Argentina over the bombing; we can only hope that this represents a genuine change of heart, rather than a cynical attempt to deflect efforts to find justice.

In the meantime, you can support a campaign for justice here. You will be joining Argentina's national football team, amongst others:

Argentina

The AMIA bombing was the worst example of a long history of terrorist attacks against Jews around the world. Islamist extremists (both Sunni and Shia); neo-Nazis; Arab nationalists; and radical leftists have all been responsible for different attacks, at different times. This history of anti-Jewish terrorism is the primary reason why Jewish communities in Britain and around the world have to devote so much of their resources to organising security for Jewish buildings and communal events.

The AMIA bombing is also the reason why, when anti-Israel campaigners in Britain chant "We are all Hizbollah" or wave Hizbollah flags at their demonstrations, to most Jewish observers it raises fears of terrorism and antisemitism.

The bombing of a Jewish community centre in pursuit of an anti-Israel policy can only make sense through an antisemitic worldview. Writing the year after the bombing, Martin Kramer observed that it marked one of the earliest examples of the antisemitic conspiracy theory that is intrinsic to Islamist extremism, being translated into anti-Jewish terrorism:

The AMIA bombing is the disturbing evidence that we are no longer dealing here with a rhetorical flourish or ideological daydreaming. I believe that this bombing was meant to deter the State of Israel from taking certain actions in Lebanon. But only someone persuaded of the existence of a world Jewish conspiracy against Islam could consider achieving this purpose by killing Argentine Jews at random.


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“I never stop being amazed at the professional, selfless and totally dedicated commitment shown by the CST staff and volunteers. Our community is indebted to CST for the comprehensive protection the organisation provides, which sadly is so very necessary at this time.”

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth