The head rabbi of the Buenos Aires Orthodox Jewish school was hospitalized for serious head wounds after an anti-Semite beat him Monday. The assailant was arrested.
The attacker beat Rabbi Moshe Cohen, head of the Heichal HaTorah day school, on the head with a martial arts weapon known as “nanchuku.” During the assault, he shouted, “Jew, Jew.... Dirty Jew”
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) called for a probe of the incident, which occurred on the eve of Israel’s Independence Day.
“Clearly, this brutal attack is an anti-Semitic hate crime,” WJC Secretary General Dan Diker stated. “Its background needs to be investigated urgently and thoroughly by the Argentine authorities. The fact that this happened on the eve of Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel’s Independence Day – is quite disturbing.
“Argentina has always provided a good and tolerant climate for Jews, and thankfully, anti-Semitic incidents such as this are rare. However, the authorities in Buenos Aires should not ignore the writing on the wall. They need to do everything they can to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.”
Two years ago, an anti-Semitic group attacked a crowd celebrating Independence Day celebrations near the Israeli embassy. Besides the timing of the attack with Independence Day, it also may have been due to a prominent Jewish exposition in the community.
Argentina’s anti-discrimination law provides prison terms for attacks that are based on religious or racial hatred.
A bomb blast detonated at the Argentina Israelite Mutual Association killed 85 people in 1994.
In 1992, a suicide bombing attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires killed 29 people and wounded more than 240 others.