BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) – A Jewish family in Argentina was physically and verbally attacked with anti-Semitic epithets while driving to a vacation spot in the province of Cordoba.
The family was traveling by car from La Falda to La Cumbre, a mountain destination 10 miles away in central Argentina where some Orthodox Jews go for summer holidays. The driver, who preferred to be identified just as Max C., was with his wife and their four sons, aged 17 to 11, as well as a 1 1/2-year-old baby and his wife’s 91-year-old grandmother.
According to the local media, Max said another vehicle neared his car and blocked it from proceeding. Two passengers in the other car then spewed anti-Semitic insults at the identifiably Orthodox Jewish family, shouting “f***ing Jews, get out of here. Death to the Jews.”
With his children crying and the grandmother having a panic attack, according to reports, the driver got out of the car trying to calm the attackers but was beaten as the assailants shouted “You f***ing Jews, get out of here,” falling dizzy to the ground.
The children ran to help their father but also were beaten amid epithets.
Max said he returned to his car and managed to drive to a hospital for help.
The family filed a report at a police station and said officers refused to provide them a copy.
On Monday, the Cordoba government reported that the alleged assailants were arrested in connection with the attack on a family “for being Jews.” If prosecuted and found guilty, they could be punished under a 1988 anti-discrimination law.
The Argentine Jewish political umbrella, DAIA, denounced the attack and provided details on its website and Twitter on Sunday.
Anti-Semitic incidents are rarely physical in Argentina – most are online or graffiti – but there were three violent ones in 2019. The number of incidents rose by 107% in 2018 over the previous year, according to a DAIA report, the most recent national statistics. Online incidents made up approximately 90% of the 2017 total, nearly doubling the 47% in 2014.
Argentina has about 230,000 Jews in a population of over 44 million.