Argentina’s chief rabbi assaulted, seriously injured

  1. The rabbi reportedly suffered serious injury in the attack and remains hospitalised
  2. Authorities are investigating the attack as a hate crime

Head of the Argentine-Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA), Gabriel Davidovich, received a brutal beating at his home in Buenos Aires on Monday, February 25, 2019.

A group of assailants entered around 2 am in the flat Rabbi Davidovich shares with his wife, located in the city centre’s Balvanera quarter.

They tied him up and started beating him after shouting, “We know you are the rabbi of the AMIA”, referring to the charity — one of the country’s most prominent Jewish groups.

They also took money and some belongings, according to the AMIA.

Davidovich, 62, is hospitalised with several broken ribs and a punctured lung.

President Mauricio Macri sent a tweet repudiating the attack and vowing aid to find the attackers.

The country’s human rights secretary Claudio Avruj said that Argentina needs to build a society “with no signs of anti-Semitism, and we cannot be indifferent.”

Argentina is home for the largest Jewish community in Latin America, the fourth most important in the world.

The aggression has alarmed authorities both in the South American nation and in Israel, where concerns were raised that it could have been prompted by anti-Semitism.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlen phoned Davidovich to express his best wishes and concern about the safety “of the large Jewish community you lead”.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu also expressed wishes for the rabbi’s recovery from Jerusalem.

“We must not let anti-Semitism rear its head. I strongly condemn the recent acts of anti-Semitism and call on the international community to take action against it.”

In 1994, the AMIA headquarters building in Buenos Aires was the target of the country’s worst terrorist attack, a bombing that killed 85 people and injured hundreds.

Argentine justice accused Iranian government officers in 2006 of being behind the attacks. Tehran has repeatedly denied allegations and refused to turn over suspects.

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