Israel will rebuild embassy in Argentina, minister says

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Israel will rebuild its embassy in Argentina during 2013, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said at a ceremony where the building once stood.

Ayalon was part of an Israeli diplomatic mission to Buenos Aires to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the embassy in the Argentinian capital.

The March 17, 1992 bombing killed 29 and injured hundreds, and destroyed the building. Israel’s embassy in Buenos Aires is now located on two floors of a downtown office building, and is not identified by flags or signs.

Ayalon said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Israeli government have decided to build a new embassy in Argentina.

"We want the Israeli flag waving again on the streets of Buenos Aires," he said. "This new home will show that we can win against terror.”

Iran is believed to be behind the bombing, but no one has been brought to justice in the case.

At the community’s main memorial ceremony on March 16, Argentinean Vice President  Amado Boudou and Justice and Human Rights Minister Julio Alak were among the dignitaries on hand.

“We need justice and memory," Alak said, "but in this case we can speak only about memory because we haven’t justice yet.” He addressed a crowd of about 1,000, many students from local Jewish schools.

Israel’s envoys focused on Iran and its influence in the region. Ayalon, Israeli Cabinet minister Yossi Peled, survivor Danny Carmon, former ambassador during the bombing Yitzhak Shefi, and current ambassador Daniel Gazit spoke on behalf of Israel. The ceremony was held on Embassy Israel Square, an empty space in which the embassy was located until 1992. 

On Sunday, the Israeli Embassy in Argentina will join the Buenos Aires city government in sponsoring a free “Concert of Life" at Palermo Park featuring 10 Argentinean pop and rock bands.

Local and global Jewish institutions remembered the terrorist attack on its 20th anniversary.

“In 1992, Iranian terror was a surprise and shock," B’nai B’rith International President Allan Jacobs said in a statement. "Today, many of Argentina’s neighbors — including Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Cuba — have embraced Tehran by signing various agreements.”

 

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