Possible Argentine police link to anti-Semitism to be probed

BUENOS AIRES, Jan. 9 (JTA) — The Argentine government this week announced the creation of a special police unit that will investigate charges of police involvement in anti-Semitic attacks. Thursday’s announcement came in the wake of harsh criticism by the Argentine Jewish community, which has alleged police complicity in recent attacks on Jewish targets. Ruben Beraja, president of the Argentine Jewish umbrella organization DAIA, said earlier this week that community leaders suspect that police were involved in October’s desecration of a cemetery near Buenos Aires and in November’s failed bombing of the Ezrah Hospital in the capital. The creation of the special police unit was announced by Buenos Aires Province Security Secretary Eduardo De Lazzari after he met with top police officials. Beraja and Oscar Hansman, president of the Argentine Mutual Aid Association, or AMIA, also took part in the meeting. De Lazzari said the creation of the force “shows that there is no animosity against the Jewish community among policemen.” “We shall enforce the anti-discrimination laws and will show that the Buenos Aires police force is against any form of bigotry,” he said. Beraja welcomed the decision to create the investigative unit, but said police officials are only “just admitting that there is a problem.”

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