Jewish 100, 2014: Alberto Nisman – Voices
Former Argentine state prosecutor
“Cowards die many times before their deaths,” says the character of Caesar in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. “The valiant never taste of death but once.” These last words are a fitting description of Alberto Nisman, the Argentine State Prosecutor who seemingly knew no fear in a life that was abruptly ended by his death, last month, in suspicious circumstances. For more than a decade, Nisman had been investigating the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were murdered. With not a single conviction secured, Nisman entered 2015 ready to release a report that detailed how senior Argentinian leaders, among them President Cristina “‹Fernández de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, fabricated the innocence of the key Iranian figures alleged to have directed the atrocity, in order to pursue an oil-for-grain deal with Tehran. But the night before Nisman was due to give testimony before a congressional committee, his lifeless body was discovered in his bathroom, with a bullet hole in his temple. It is a sad irony that in death, Nisman’s profile will likely be larger than it was during his life. Already, calls are escalating across the world for an independent commission to examine how Alberto Nisman became the 86th victim of the AMIA bombing – and why.