BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) – The chief rabbi of Argentina was brutally assaulted by a gang who broke into his apartment early Monday morning.
Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich was hospitalized with serious injuries, including nine broken ribs, according to the Jewish political umbrella DAIA President Jorge Knoblovits.
“We know that you are the AMIA (Jewish center) rabbi,” the assailants shouted before beating Davidovich.
His wife was home during the attack, which happened at approximately 2 a.m. in the Jewish neighborhood of Once in the Argentine capital. The attackers restrained her and stole money and belongings from the apartment.
The attack was a “brutal anti-Semitic aggression,” DAIA said in a statement issued Monday night. The statement, which was signed by Knoblovits, said the attack “is framed on the anti-Semitic events that are taking place in different European countries, which threaten coexistence and democratic values.”
A statement issued by AMIA condemned the attack but did not specifically call it anti-Semitic.
Davidovich has served as chief rabbi since 2013. The office of the rabbinate is located in the AMIA building in Buenos Aires.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement issued Tuesday morning sent wishes for a quick recovery to the rabbi and his wife.
“We must not let anti-Semitism rear its head. I strongly condemn the recent acts of anti-Semitism and call on the international community to take action against it,” Netanyahu said.
The World Jewish Congress said it was “shocked and incensed by the brutal attack.”
“It is not yet clear whether this was a targeted crime of hateful anti-Semitism or a barbaric criminal act, but we trust that the authorities will continue to do everything in their power to determine the motive and bring the perpetrators to justice,” its CEO, Robert Singer, said Monday.