Argentineans commemorate AMIA attack


BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Argentina’s president attended the annual commemoration of the terrorist attack on the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

Postponed by national measures to prevent the spread of swine flu, the commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack ever in Argentina was held Tuesday, a month after the actual anniversary date of July 18.

Attending for the first time as the Argentine president, Cristina Fernandez participated in a moment of silence during the tribute.

Thousands of Argentineans gathered at Pasteur Street, in front of the rebuilt AMIA, to call for justice with local politicians, Latin American Jewish Congress legislators and Dina Siegel Vann of the American Jewish Committee.

While AMIA President Guillermo Borger stressed in his speech the need for bringing the perpetrators to justice, Sergio Burstein, a relative of a victim, decried the nomination of the new Buenos Aires police chief, who allegedly concealed evidence in the AMIA bombing.

Attack survivor Tamara Scher offered the most emotional moment, inviting the audience to observe one minute of silence to connect with the 85 people killed in the attack.

“Do you see what they want? The want peace,” inferred Scher.

Tribute participants carried hundreds of black balloons and posters of the 85 faces and names of the victims.

The night before, hundreds of young Argentine Jews gathered — as they have every year — for a much more intimate atmosphere, without politicians and public figures. They shared their desire for justice through discussions, songs and art exhibitions.

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