World Jewish Congress asks FIFA to remember AMIA Jewish center victims at World Cup


(JTA) —  The World Jewish Congress called on the FIFA world soccer association to hold a tribute to the victims of the AMIA Jewish center terrorist attack before a match between Argentina and Iran at the World Cup in Brazil.

A letter sent to FIFA President Joseph Blatter and set to be delivered Friday calls for a moment of silence for the 85 victims of the 1994 attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association.

Jack Terpins, a Brazilian who is president of the Latin American Jewish Congress, a branch of the WJC, also pointed out in the letter obtained by JTA that this year is the 20th anniversary of the AMIA attack. The letter also is signed by the congress’ vice president, Saul Gilvich of Uruguay.

Six Iranians are wanted by Interpol in connection with the bombing, including Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi. Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman also has presented evidence that Iran has infiltrated several South American countries through the installation of intelligence cells.

“We believe in the enormous social and cultural influence of the FIFA World Cup around the world and more specifically in Latin America, and therefore we suggest that FIFA promote, at the start of this match, a moment’s silence in memory of the victims of this attack,” the Latin American Jewish Congress letter said.

The match between Iran and Argentina is scheduled for June 21.

“Many of the spectators and players of the matches are not old enough to be aware of the atrocity of this attack,” the letter said. “We believe that it is for the youth and the sport to demonstrate that everyone should be against terrorism. We are sure that such an act of solidarity with the victims of terror will encourage the population of the two countries, as well as the entire world’s population, to see in football and the World Cup a true field of respect, tolerance and dialogue against terrorism and racism.”

There is also an initiative on Facebook by Brazilian youth to hold a moment silence for AMIA victims before the start of the match.

“I will travel from Argentina to Brazil to see only one match: the match against Iran,” said Fabio Kornblau, a former member of the AMIA board in charge of its youth department. “Of course I am in favor of one moment of silence. I also want to bring to this match an Israeli flag, to spread a stronger message in favor of the Jewish people, but I’m not sure, for security reasons.”

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