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March 20, 1992 - Image 30

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-03-20

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Bomb Explosion
Rocks Embassy




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New York (JTA) — At
least five people were killed
and 76 injured when a
powerful bomb rocked the
Israeli Embassy in Buenos
Aires. .
Half the building was
demolished and adjacent
buildings were also badly
The destruction was so ex-
tensive and the numbers of
passersby so great that it
was impossible to gauge the
actual number of dead,
sources in the Argentine
capital said.
It was known, however,
that the Israeli ambassador,
Itzjak Sheffi, and visiting
Jewish Agency leader Uri
Gordon were unharmed, said
sources reached by tele-
phone in Buenos Aires.
Mr. Gordon, who chairs
the Jewish Agency's Im-
migration and Absorption
Department, was not believ-
ed to have been inside the
Embassy officials injured
were reported to have been
taken to three hospitals.
Consul Danny Karman was
described as seriously hurt,
but other Israelis were only
lightly injured, according to
a report on Israel Radio.
That report said that a
neo-Nazi group had taken
responsibility and warned of
further attacks.
Argentine President
Carlos Menem condemned
the attack, which he said
could have been perpetrated
by a neo-Nazi group or a
right-wing group of military
officials called Cara Pintada
(Painted Face).
Locally, Jewish leaders
reacted with shock and
"The Jewish community of
Detroit expresses its deepest
anger and sorrow at the loss
of so many lives in what is
believed to have been a ter-
rorist attack upon the Israeli
embassy in Argentina, "
said Detroit Federation
President Mark Schlussel.
"Any act of violence
directed against the state of
Israel only strengthens our
resolve against the forces
responsible for this terror. It
is yet another occurrence
that focuses our attention on
a very important truth: no
act of terror will ever shatter
the unity of the Jewish Peo-
"We join with Jews
worldwide in denouncing
this vicious attack on the
Israeli embassy in Buenos
Aires, " said Jewish Council
President Jeannie Weiner.

"The escalating violence
against Jews in this
hemispehre is a chilling
reminder that Jews every-
where are threatened by the
scourge of terrorism.
"We extend our deepest
condolences to all of those —
Jews and non-Jews alike —
who were killed or maimed
by they attack, and we stand
in solidarity with the Jewish
community of Argentina,
who were clearly as much a
target as the Israeli delega-
tion at the embassy."
Another threat was
received by the Argentina-
Israel Cultural Center, said
Rabbi Morton Rosenthal, di-
rector of Latin American af-
fairs for the Anti-
Defamation League.
The institute, which was
evacuated, is not far from
the embassy.
Among the injured were
about a dozen schoolchildren

"No act of terror
will ever shatter
the unity of the
Jewish People."

who attended a Catholic
school located across the
street from the embassy,
said Cynthia Hener, an
assistant to the editor at
Mundo Israelita (Jewish
World), a publication in
Buenos Aires, who was
reached by telephone.
The attack comes a month
after President Menem
opened Argentina's long-
sealed files on Nazi war
criminals who obtained
haven in the country and ex-
tensive assistance from the
government of Juan Peron.
Following the opening of
the files, death threats were
made against a visiting Jew-
ish official, Shimon Samuels
of the Simon Wiesenthal
Center, who examined the
files. Samuels was given
armed guards to travel in
Buenos Aires..
The Wiesenthal Center
and several other Jewish
organizations in the United
States and Canada were
quick to condemn the attack,
as was Israeli Prime Min-
ister Yitzhak Shamir.
In Jerusalem, Mr. Shamir
described the bombing as
"another attempt to strike
at us, to continue the war of
terror against us, although
it is clear that such attacks
will not change the course of
He pledged that Israel
would "continue to advance
toward progress on peace."

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