Marking Fourth Anniversary of Alberto Nisman’s Murder, Israel Unveils Memorial to Argentine Prosecutor Who Sought Justice for Iran-Linked Bombing of Buenos Aires Jewish Center
Israeli and Jewish leaders on Friday marked the fourth anniversary of Argentine federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s murder by unveiling a memorial plaque in his honor at the Ben Shemen forest in central Israel.
Nisman’s body was discovered in the early morning of Jan. 19, 2015 — hours before he was due to unveil a complaint against the former government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over its alleged collusion with Iran in effectively exonerating the Islamic Republic of responsibility for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were murdered and more than 300 wounded.
Nisman had been investigating the AMIA atrocity since 2005, with his efforts resulting in the global law enforcement agency Interpol issuing six “red notices” in 2007 for the Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah operatives believed to have planned the attack.
Kirchner’s government falsely maintained that Nisman’s assassination was a suicide until an independent police investigation in May 2017 established beyond doubt that the prosecutor had been murdered. More recent efforts within Argentina to bring Kirchner — who is now a senator — to trial over both the alleged AMIA cover-up with Iran and Nisman’s murder have so far failed.
Friday’s ceremony in honor of Nisman was led by Yuli Edelstein, the speaker of the Israeli Knesset. Edelstein recited the kaddish memorial prayer and then planted an olive tree beside the memorial plaque, which is located in the forest’s “Argentina-Israel Friendship Park.”
Also present was Nisman’s mother, Sara Garfunkel, who was warmly applauded when she disclosed, “In some way, I needed this tribute to continue living.”
The current president of AMIA, Augustin Zbar, told the Spanish EFE news agency that Friday’s tribute would help “internationalize the demand for justice both for the murder of Alberto Nisman and for the AMIA case.”
Said Zbar: We are convinced that the two are directly linked, so anything that helps to draw the world’s attention to the death of Nisman will also lead to the clarification of the facts that link Iran and Hezbollah with the AMIA terrorist attack.”
Zbar repeated his demand that the accused Iranian operatives stand trial for the bombing in an Argentine court.
En acto organizado por KKL y con la presencia de Sara Garfunkel, autoridades israelíes y de LATAM, se realizó homenaje a Alberto Nisman en el Bosque de la Amistad Argentina-israel pic.twitter.com/D5xu2hdPFW
— CARLOS KALMAN (@carloskalman) January 18, 2019
Earlier this week. Garfunkel met in Jerusalem with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who lauded her late son as a “hero.”
In an interview with Spanish-language Jewish news agency AJN prior to the meeting with Rivlin, Garfunkel said that even though four years had passed since Nisman’s murder, “now it’s more difficult for me, these last three months were very difficult for me.”
Garfunkel also spoke about the pain that the initial claim that Nisman’s death was a suicide caused her.
“For me they killed him, period,” she said. “I knew that the first moment, and I didn’t care what others said, I knew they killed him.”
Asked for her views on Kirchner’s alleged involvement in Nisman’s murder, Garfunkel demurred.
“I prefer not to talk about politics,” she said.