Officials alarmed by anti-Semitic assaults in Argentina

Argentinian and international Jewish organizations demand action following recent violent anti-Semitic attacks.

Ben Ariel and JTA,

Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
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Argentinian and international Jewish organizations are demanding action from local and regional authorities amid recent violent anti-Semitic attacks in the country, JTA reported on Wednesday.

The Argentinean Jewish political umbrella DAIA labeled Sunday’s attack on Rabbi Shlomo Tawil in Rosario as “brutal anti-Semitic aggression” and demanded an investigation into the climate that may have spawned such violence.

The attack on Tawil is the third physical anti-Semitic assault in the last two months.

In May, a man wearing a kippah was beaten and subject to anti-Semitic epithets on a street in Buenos Aires.

In April, a man broke into a synagogue in Buenos Aires during Friday evening services, threatened the worshipers and shouted anti-Semitic slogans and curses.

Such assaults have been rare.

“Argentina isn’t an anti-Semitic country but has anti-Semitic episodes. Now these episodes are more violent and more frequents. This ongoing new reality is very worrying,” Ariel Gelblung, the Latin America representative for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told JTA.

Rabbi Tawil, of the local Chabad-Lubavitch organization, was attacked Sunday night by three men in the city center of Rosario, located in the center of the country. The men shouted anti-Semitic epithets before removing the rabbi’s hat and trampling it on the ground, and then beating the rabbi, who was walking alone.

Tawil is recovering at home with his family, according to reports. Originally from Buenos Aires, he has served as the Chabad emissary in Rosario since 1987, and is married with eight children and two grandchildren.

Local Rosario city officials, members of the national government and opposition leaders condemned the attack.

Argentina has about 180,000 Jews out of a population of over 44 million.

Anti-Semitic incidents in Argentina rose by 14 percent in 2017 over the previous year, according to a DAIA report, the most recent national statistics. Online anti-Semitic incidents made up 88 percent of the 2017 total, nearly double the 47 percent in 2014.




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