Argentine Jewish Youth Discuss Commemoration of Terrorist Attacks
Posted on 04/04/2013 @ 05:30 PM
On March 17, 1992, a terrorist attack targeted the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was a shock for everyone, as nothing like this had happened before. There were no warnings, and it took all the citizens by surprise. 29 people were killed in the attack and fear started to grow in the Jewish community. As the attack was an isolated event, the Jewish community continued to live their lives as usual.
However, two years later, another car full of explosives hit the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA), the most important Jewish association in Argentina. 85 people were killed and 300 were injured.
Today, 19 years later, there are still no guilty parties and many feel the absence of justice.
After this attack, which was the worst attack on Argentinian soil to date, fear ran rampant among the people. New security measures were taken and the Jewish community in Argentina never returned to the sense of comfort it had before the first attack.
Now, every Jewish building, synagogue, school, high school or club not only has a doorman like before 1992, but also dozens of security guards that stand at the doors as long as the buildings are open.
As young people, we believe it is really important to stand up for ourselves and ask for justice because, if we don’t, who else will? That’s why we get together every year to commemorate these attacks and host strikes against the injustice.
Melu Faez and Mai Stamati, Argentina
The terrorist attacks impacted the whole country: not just the people who were there, but also the new generations like ours. Even if I wasn’t alive when this happened, it affects my everyday life.
The strikes weren’t just against the Jewish community - they took the lives of PEOPLE. It doesn’t matter if they were Jews, Catholics, Arabs, Argentinians, Uruguayans or people from any other country - they were PEOPLE. That’s what makes me think more about what the strikes mean. The memorials are an important way for me, as a Jew, to remember the attacks.
There are always two ceremonies. The first one is for everyone who wants to participate. The second one is specifically for the youth. We, the youth, organize it and almost everyone who speaks belongs to a Jewish movement such as Hebraica, which is my movement. In a couple of months, there will be another commemoration for the attack against the AMIA and, again, there will be ceremonies. I’ll participate in both of them as I always try to do because I think that it is my duty as not just an Argentinian person, but also as a Jewish person to go there and honor those lost through a moment of silence or even just lighting a candle. No matter what it is, it’s important to me to do my part.
Tomás Brander, Argentina