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Some Argentine justices blame Jews for 1992 embassy bombing

BUENOS AIRES, March 27 (JTA) — Two justices on the Argentine Supreme Court are saying that a group of Jewish extremists may be behind the March 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy. Justices Adolfo Vazquez and Carlos Fayt claim that “no hypothesis should be discarded” and that “Jews might be the guilty party.” The two justices maintain that the bomb was planted inside the embassy by “a group of Jewish extremists, right-wing dissidents opposed to the peace process.” Other justices harshly criticized the two justices. “It is shameful to say that a Jew would plant a bomb and indiscriminately kill a group of Jews,” Justice Gustavo Bossert told his colleagues in a meeting this week, according to the Argentine newspaper Clarin. “The notion reminds me of the times of military dictatorship in our country, when the government claimed that the [disappeared] had been killed by their own comrades.” “That is called blaming the victim,” Bossert said. The Supreme Court was charged with investigating the March 17, 1992, bombing because it has exclusive jurisdiction over diplomats and foreign offices. But after five years, the justices have little to show. While the Israeli and Argentine governments have blamed Arab terrorists for the deadly attack, no suspects have been apprehended. The Israeli Embassy was destroyed by a bomb that left 29 dead and more than 200 wounded. It appears now that the issue has become highly contentious among the justices. According to sources close to the Supreme Court, the justices quarrel regularly over what happened. There are three views held by justices, according to the sources and articles published in the local press. Some justices believe that the attack was carried out by Middle Eastern terrorists using a car bomb. They cite three technical studies conducted by Argentine police and security agencies with the help of American and Israeli advisers. The studies concluded that a truck carrying hundreds of pounds of high-power explosives was parked at the building entrance and detonated. A second group of justices say the bomb was planted by Arab terrorists inside the building. They refer to a recent study by the Argentine Academy of Engineers. However, the study was carried out four years after the bombing, and the professionals involved did not specialize in explosives. The third view is the one advanced by Vazquez and Fayt. The investigation of the attack has been criticized in the past by local Jewish leaders, Israeli officials, American Jewish groups and even by members of the Argentine Cabinet. Last week, the Supreme Court formally protested a statement by the Argentine foreign minister, Guido di Tella, who called the investigation “pathetic.”