Argentine Hostel Popular With Israelis Targeted in Violent Antisemitic Attack
A group of Israeli tourists has been forced to leave a hostel in Lago Puelo, a national park in Argentina’s Patagonia region, following a violent antisemitic attack which left ten people injured.
Argentine newspaper Clarín reported that three assailants carried out the attack against the Onda Azul hostel, which is popular with Israeli backpackers. Sergio Polak, the owner of the hostel, said, “There were several hours of terror. They shouted, ‘f***ing Jews, you are stealing Patagonia.'”
Israeli website 0404 reported that there were no casualties among the Israeli group, comprised of youngsters who have just completed their army service. However, Polak confirmed that there had been “serious damage” to his property and that the assailants had also stolen the belongings of several guests.
In a separate radio interview, Polak said that the assailants were locals and had been identified. He added that this was not the first time that his hostel had been the target of an antisemitic attack, noting that two cabins had been burned down during the Jewish holiday period in October last year by an assailant who threw a Molotov cocktail. Polak also said that INADI, Argentina’s official anti-discrimination body, had received several complaints in recent weeks concerning antisemitic behavior and attitudes on the part of several local hoteliers and businesses.
Another hostel popular with Israelis in the town of Bariloche, also in Patagonia, was targeted by local antisemites last year, who warned the owners not to accept Israeli tourists. In 2012, the Chabad House in Bariloche, another popular hangout for Israelis, was targeted three times in a single month.