Monday, March 20, 2017
Renewed calls for justice on 25th anniversary of Israeli Embassy bombing
The aftermath of the tragedy, on March 17, 1992.
On the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Israeli embassy bombing — the deadliest attack on an Israeli overseas diplomatic mission in history — survivors, relatives and political leaders will today pay tribute to the 29 killed and the hundreds more that were left injured in the tragedy, marking another year without justice nor answers.The commemoration will start at 2.42pm, the exact time that the terrorist bomb exploded on March 17, 1992. President Mauricio Macri has called on his whole Cabinet to attend the central commemorative event which will take place at the memorial plaza on Arroyo and Suipacha street, where the Israeli Embassy used to be located. Vice-President Gabriela Michetti is expected to attend the ceremony representing the president.
Following the ceremony, the president will receive members of the victims’ families and Argentine survivors of terrorist attack at the presidential residence in Olivos. Among those who will meet with the president are Israel’s Ambassador to India and Sri Lanka, Daniel Carmon, who lost his wife in the attack, and the Israeli ambassador at the time of the bombing, Yitzhak Shefi.
Carmon is part of a special Israeli delegation that has travelled to Buenos Aires to participate in the 25th anniversary commemorations and that group will also meet with Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña, Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Larreta and Environment Minister Sergio Bergman.
Macri is also scheduled to meet with the Director-General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Yuval Rotem. The two will exchange information and ideas about how the judicial investigation into the Embassy terrorist attack is advancing and discuss how the two countries can work together to fight terrorism.
Rotem, who arrived earlier this week, also attended a memorial event in Congress last Wednesday where lawmakers promised to give their support toward advancing the investigation into the 1992 terrorist bombing.
‘We need help’
President of the General Legislative Committee Daniel Lipovetzky said this week that lawmakers need to double down on their efforts to seek justice, since there have not been any convictions in the case to date.
“We need to help the justice system determine those who are responsible for the terrorist attacks on the Israeli Embassy and the AMIA headquarters,” Lipovetzky said in Congress last Wednesday, also referring to another bombing on 18 July 1994, which killed 85 people.
He assured that this year Congress would focus its political and legislative power toward helping the investigation advance.
Radical lawmaker Ricardo Alfonsín followed the same line: “We hope we can advance together from our positions with the responsibilities that we each have, so that the reconstruction can be much more just, with solidarity and so we can live in peace.”
The Israeli Embassy has launched a “Peace without Terror” campaign, parallel to the event. Cultural figures, social activists and political leaders have signed up to share this message which aims to promote remembrance and condemn terrorism. A book, photos and a video with the campaign slogan will be then emitted throughout the whole country, including in the Buenos Aires City schools.
No-one has ever been detained or arrested in connection to the terrorist attack in spite of the several investigations that have taken place since then. Two years ago, the Supreme Court decided to reactivate the investigation, and published a new report ordering the international capture of Hussein Mohamad Ibrahim Suleiman, an alleged Hezbollah agent and allegedly a part of the Islamic Jihad group. They also requested the arrest of Colombian citizen José Salman El Reda Reda.
In a ceremony held earlier this month to mark the 25th anniversary of the terrorist attack, according to the Hebrew calendar, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of orchestrating the bombing.
“We knew straight away that Iran was behind the heinous attack,” said Netanyahu at the March 6 event in Jerusalem.
He said that Iran had planned all aspects of the attack, and had used Hezbollah as a proxy to carry it out. Although several political leaders, judicial authorities and investigators from the United States, Israel and Argentina have accused Iran of being behind the attacks, the fact has never been proven in court.
The Israeli prime minister also said he had spoken with Macri about terrorism and expressed his confidence in the Let’s Change president’s agenda and leadership.
“Having spoken with President Macri, I am impressed that he understands the problem well, and I intend to meet with him in the near future to strengthen the relations between our two countries in many areas — including these vital areas of defence and fighting terror,” he said.
— Herald staff