Jonah Shrock is studying history at Brown University in Providence, RI.
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The Argentine Embassy in the UK commemorated the AMIA bombing on Wednesday ahead of the upcoming 25th anniversary of the attack in July.
The event, held in London, was attended by leaders in the British Jewish community such as Rabbi Daniel Sturgess as well as Ambassador of Israel to the UK, Mark Regev; the British Ambassador to Argentina; members of the World Jewish Congress, and Simon Wiesenthal.
“This year we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the attack on the headquarters of the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires,” Argentine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Carlos Sersale di Cerisano said in his address at the event. “The best tribute we can pay to their memory is to continue to seek justice.”
On 18 July 1994, a van carrying a bomb exploded after being driven Argentine Israelite Mutual Association building in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and injuring over 300. It is the largest terrorist attack in Argentine followed by the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires which killed 29 people.
Argentine, Israeli and American intelligence suspect that Hezbollah, a militant Shia group which receives funding from Iran, was behind the attack, which the group denies.
In 2015 Alberto Nisman, the chief investigator of the 1994 bombing, filed a document accusing then-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of covering up Iran’s role in the attack. Nisman was murdered before he was scheduled to testify about his findings. Fernández de Kirchner is currently a candidate for Vice President on the ticket of Alberto Fernandez.
In his speech, the Argentine Ambassador also called for international cooperation “to put on trial in Argentina the Iranian citizens that are under an international arrest warrant” for their alleged responsibility in the attack, and insisted that countries “should refuse to host or offer refuge to any of the accused, on whom international arrest appeals and Interpol Red Notices have been issued”.
Commemorations also took place in Tel Aviv, Santiago de Chile, Paris and London, and are scheduled to continue in Berlin, New York, Madrid, Moscow, Brasilia, Canberra, Rome and the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva. The global commemoration is a joint initiative between the Latin American Jewish Congress and Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Robert Singer, CEO of the World Jewish Congress highlighted in his speech that attacks like the AMIA bombing affect more than just the Jewish community.
“Unfortunately events like [the AMIA bombing] start many times with the Jews but it never end with the Jews,” he said. “I know the Government of Argentina is doing its best to finally bring those responsible to justice. However, it is really a time for action, not statements. It is time for all of us to mobilise together and put as much pressure as possible on Iran and on different countries that have to deal with this issue”.