Argentina approves memorial day for Israeli embassy attack

Argentina Senate passes law for annual memorial day remembering the 1992 attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires.

Ben Ariel and JTA,

Star of David in front of outline of former Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires
Star of David in front of outline of former Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires
Reuters

The Argentina Senate has passed a law for an annual memorial day remembering the 1992 terror attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, JTA reported on Thursday.

The law, passed unanimously by the upper house of parliament on Wednesday, also calls for a week of events surrounding the March 17 day of remembrance to raise awareness about the consequences of global terrorism.

The car bombing on that day in 1992 killed 29 and injured hundreds. The building was destroyed.

The new law establishes the “Day of Memory and Solidarity with the Victims of the Attack against the Embassy of Israel.”

It calls for activities in schools throughout the country coordinated by the Ministry of Education “to raise awareness about the consequences of international terrorism and in favor of peace and nonviolence.”

“Twenty-five years after such a terrible attack it is an ethical and social responsibility, an imperative against oblivion and a commitment to unity against international terrorism,” the legislation says, adding that “schools are a central place for the development of memory and to avoid falling into oblivion. We understand that in a convulsive time like the one in which we live at the international level, in which we read daily news about terrorist acts in different parts of the globe, this project acquires a key role in the defense of life, community ties and human rights.”

In June of 2011, the Argentina parliament unanimously ruled that the relatives of victims of the attack would receive compensation from the state. Under that law, the families received $225,000 in the case of death, and $158,000 for dramatic and severe injuries, for a total of $40 million from the government.

Argentina later suffered a second terrorist attack, against the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, on July 18, 1994. That attack killed 85 and injured hundreds.

The perpetrators of both attack shave never been caught, but Iranian officials have been accused of plotting the bombings.

In 2012, former Argentine president Cristina Kirchner signed a pact with Iran that would have allowed senior Iranian officials accused in the deadly attack to be investigated in their own country, rather than in Argentina.

In early 2013, Argentina's congress approved, at the request of the executive branch, an agreement with Tehran to form a truth commission to investigate the bombing.

Leaders of Argentina's Jewish community, which at 300,000 people is the largest in Latin America, have criticized the accord and a year later, in 2014, an Argentine court declared the agreement to be unconstitutional.

Iran, for its part, has denied involvement in the AMIA attack.




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