Eight years ago, the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires was struck by a terrorist bomb in which twenty-nine were killed and dozens of Israelis and Argentineans were wounded including Israeli diplomats and staff, pupils in a nearby school, and passersby. This month we also mark the seventh anniversary of the bombing of the Argentine-Israelite Mutual Aid Association (AMIA), the Jewish community headquarters building in Buenos Aires. Though all these years have passed, justice has not been done and the terrorists who committed these heinous crimes have not been apprehended. As we sadly again honor the memory of the victims and share the pain of the families, the Orthodox Union continues to be outraged at the failure to properly investigate these crimes and gather the evidence that would help pinpoint and punish the perpetrators so that further terrorist activities can be prevented.
In the case of the bombing of the AMIA, the Argentinean government promised a swift and thorough investigation, yet it is still doubtful that those who committed this horrendous crime will ever be brought to justice. It is suspected that those who are responsible for this act of terrorism were aided by locals or foreigners residing in Argentina who provided the assistance and the materials that enabled the terrorists to carry out this attack. Evidence also points towards Iran and suspects who are thought to be linked to Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization that is trained, fostered and financed by Iran.
While we were encouraged by the intentions of President De la Rua to increase the efforts into the investigation and to highlight the reinforcement of security measures, including fighting against hatred and terrorism, we strongly urge him to make every effort to apprehend and punish the perpetrators of these terrorist attacks. We continue to be concerned by anti-Semitic pronouncements in Argentina, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and the fears expressed by the Argentinean Jewish community. We stand together in solidarity with the Argentinean Jewish community in the battle against the irrational forces of hatred and terrorism.
Though years have passed since these attacks, it is our hope that it will be possible to bring to justice those who are responsible for these murderous acts of terrorism and that all will be done to prevent any recurrence of such crimes. We again call upon the international community to intensify the struggle against terrorism and those states and organizations which support terrorism as a means to achieve their political goals. We hope that the countries of the world and all international organizations will truly cooperate on all levels in order to prevent this scourge which is no longer confined to any one part of the world and affects us all.