Argentinian President Says of 1994 Jewish Center Bombing: ‘Everything That Happened Made Us Look Weak in the World’
“Everything that happened made us look weak in the world,” Argentinian President Mauricio Macri said in an interview with AP on Thursday, the 24th anniversary of the Israeli Embassy bombing in Buenos Aires, which came two years before the attack on the city’s Jewish center. “But now we are determined to bring what happened to light.”
Macri, who has reached the 100-day mark of his administration –characterized by its total about-face in relation to the policies of the previous government, led by Cristina Fernández de Kirchner — was referring to an investigation surrounding a case that rocked Argentina and garnered international notoriety.
The case in question is the death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found shot dead in his apartment last year. Though police surmised it was a suicide, it occurred mere hours before Nisman was to provide evidence to back up his accusation that Kirchner had been in cahoots with Tehran in its attempt to deny involvement in the 1994 car-bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish center, which left 85 people dead and hundreds more wounded.
Earlier this month, as The Algemeiner reported, Antonio Stiuso, former operations chief of Argentina’s spy agency, was questioned in a closed-door hearing about his relationship with Nisman and the days leading up to the latter’s January 18, 2015 death. Stiuso had been helping Nisman with the investigation into the bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA), believed to have been carried out by Hezbollah with Iran’s backing.
Stiuso’s arrival from abroad, where he fled in April 2014 amid claims he was receiving death threats, came on the heels of another development — the publicly stated belief of a top prosecutor that Nisman’s death was a homicide, the first such declaration on the part of a judicial official in Argentina.
As The Algemeiner reported in December, recordings of 2012 phone conversations between former Argentinian Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and Jewish leaders – concerned about the government’s conducting of a joint investigation with Tehran into the AMIA bombing — revealed that he and Fernández de Kirchner knew Iran had “planted the bomb,” but thought it best to cooperate with the Islamic Republic anyway.
Macri concluded his AP interview by saying he hopes investigators solve the Nisman case.
Meanwhile, Dore Gold, director general of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the following statement on Thursday, the anniversary of a different terrorist attack in Argentina — the bombing of the Israeli Embassy — that occurred two years before the AMIA bombing.
Today we commemorate 24 years since the heinous attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The attack was carried out by Hizbullah, directed and supported by Iran. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs painfully remembers the 29 victims murdered in the attack – Israeli diplomats and their spouses, embassy staff, visitors and passers-by. And, two years later, 85 more lost their lives in the attack on AMIA, the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.
Today, the official memorial ceremony for the victims of the attack on the Israeli embassy will be held at the embassy plaza in Buenos Aires at the exact time of the attack 24 years ago. Education Minister Naftali Bennett will represent the Government of Israel at the ceremony.
Twenty-four years later, we are unfortunately still confronting terrorism and hatred in the streets of Israel and throughout the world. Just last week, David Fremd, a Jewish businessman from Uruguay, was murdered in a hate crime, just because he was a Jew.
It seems that the nations of the world are beginning to understand that this is a fight that we will win only if we stand together.
Twenty-four years later, we must remember that Foreign Ministry staff and families are at the forefront of the diplomatic struggle in Israel and abroad, facing incessant attempts to harm the vital interests of the State of Israel. Twenty-four years later, we promise the fallen that we will continue to strengthen Israeli diplomacy throughout the world, as an essential part of Israel’s national strength.