web analytics
July 5, 2015 / 18 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Argentina’

Argentine Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Over the years, Argentine Prosecutor Alberto Nisman made some powerful enemies from Iran to his own country’s president.

He was set to testify this morning on a cover-up connected to Iran’s Buenos Aires Jewish Center bombing that reached the highest levels of his own government.

Nisman’s body was found, shot dead, in his home.

Prosecutor Dead; Charged Pres. Involved in Argentina Jewish Center Bombing Cover-Up

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Argentine state prosecutor Alberto Nisman was shot dead just hours before he was going to testify to the Argentinian Congress on Monday, Jan. 19, that his country’s president was directly involved in cover-ups to obscure Iran’s involvement in the Buenos Aires bombing of the Israeli Embassy and Jewish Community Center.

On July 18, 1994, the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) building was bombed, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds.

Nisman was the special prosecutor on the case. In 2006 he formally accused the government of Iran of directing the bombing and the Hezbollah terrorist organization of carrying it out.

In May, 2013, Nisman released a report accusing Iran of establishing terrorist networks in Latin America dating back decades. That report provided evidence, he claimed, of an “intelligence and terrorist network” in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Trinidad, Tobago and Suriname.

Nisman further claimed that the evidence in his report proved “beyond a reasonable doubt” that former Iranian cultural attaché in Argentina, Mohsen Rabbani, was responsible for the 1994 AMIA bombing, and that he was the “coordinator of the Iranian infiltration of South America.”

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has close ties with other Latin American leaders who are friends of Iran, but Nisman’s claim last week that she was directly involved in the cover-up was a bombshell.

There were many irregularities over the years regarding the court case over the 1994 bombing. All the local suspects were found “not guilty,” and the federal judge in charge of the case was later impeached and removed from his position for “serious” mishandling of the case.

Last week Nisman said during a radio interview that he had proof of the Argentine president’s involvement in the cover-up. The assistance was provided, Nisman, said, because Argentina wanted to “establish full diplomatic relations, and, more importantly, a commercial trade due to the energy crisis that Argentina faced,” the MercoPress, a South American news source, reported.

Nisman also explained that Argentina’s former foreign minister, Rafael Bielsa, had received a proposal from the Iranians in which they offered “a very beneficial economic offer, in exchange we have to state that the prosecutor’s complaint was all a mistake and void it.”

During the interview Nisman also clearly stated that the former president, Nestor Kirchner, was adamantly against such a deal. The current president, widow of the former president, however, according to Nisman, was “the one who decided to give impunity to Iran, to exculpate” the suspects.

Nisman’s decision to speak out publicly about his evidence against the president appeared to be motivated by the decision of the judge overseeing the case who refused to end the court’s January recess in order to hear the accusations filed by Nisman.

A former judge on the case said the evidence to which Nisman had pointed was “flawed” because Nisman had not involved him in the wiretap decisions. Nisman’s response was that he did not undertake any new wiretapping, “I simply worked with evidence collected along the way,” the MercoPress reported.

Nisman was found dead of gunshot wounds in his home this morning.

Argentina’s President Adopts Jewish Godson

Friday, December 26th, 2014

Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son.

She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family.

He was adopted as a godson under a law passed in the 1920s in order to counteract a legend that the seventh son, born after six boys without any girls in between, becomes a werewolf whose bite can turn others into a werewolf.

The belief in the legend was so widespread that families were abandoning, giving up for adoption and even killing their own sons.

The law only applied to the biological children of Catholic families until the enacting of a presidential decree in 2009, which allows children from other religions to qualify.

The boys receive presidential protection, a gold medal and a scholarship for all studies until his 21st birthday.

Shlomo and Nehama Tawil, parents of seven boys, wrote a letter to the president in 1993 asking for the honor and were denied. But this year Yair wrote a letter to the president citing the 2009 decree and asking for the designation of godson.

Shlomo Tawil is the director of the Chabad House in Rosario, located in central Argentina

Yair Tawil on Tuesday became the first Jewish godson of a president in Argentina’s history. Fernandez received Yair, his parents and three of his brothers in her office, where they lit Hanukkah candles together on a menorah from Israel presented to the president by the Tawil family.

The president in her tweets and photos described to her 3.4 million Twitter followers the “magical moment” with a “marvelous family.” She described Yair as “a total sweetie,” and his mother a “Queen Esther.”

She tweeted that the Tawils “are a very special family. They have a sort of peace, happiness and a lot of love that is not common.” The tweet included a link to the presidential blog, which includes more photos from the meeting.

 

Argentinian Jews Furious at President for Criticizing Them in UN Speech

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Argentina’s president turned “victims into victimizers” in her address to the United Nations General Assembly, a Jewish political umbrella leader said.

Jewish leaders in Argentina on Monday responded to Cristina Fernandez’s public criticism of Argentinean Jewish leaders in her U.N. speech on the first day of Rosh Hashanah for not supporting the pact with Iran in order to jointly investigate the 1994 AMIA bombing attack.

Argentinian Jewish leaders were unable to respond to Fernandez’ accusations until after Rosh Hashanah. “We feel hurt and worried. It was very surprising how she tried to make the Jewish community responsible for the failure of the case,” Julio Schlosser, president of DAIA, the country’s Jewish political umbrella, told local media.

“The Jewish institutions that always support us, they turned against us,” Fernandez told the General Assembly. “We asked Iran to cooperate with the Argentinian Justice Ministry several times. Then we signed a Memorandum of Understanding which is a tool to cooperate. We want the Iranians to declare the facts to the judge. When we signed the agreement it seemed that the internal and external demons were unleashed. Jewish institutions who had accompanied us turned against us. When we decided to cooperate they accused us of complicity with the State of Iran.”

Fernandez pointed out that when representatives of the U.S. government met with Iranian leaders there was no similar outcry.

“From Day One we´ve always said that the Republic of Iran, or the terrorist state of Iran, is not a valid partner since they are not trustworthy in any memorandum that seeks the truth. She (Fernandez) tried to turn victims into victimizers. We were victims of terrorism. We are the victims of the only demon which is the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Schlosser said.

Early this year an Argentine federal court declared the pact with Iran to be unconstitutional.

 

Rabbanit Pinto Found Alive and Well

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Rabbanit Pinto was found by Buenos Aires police, alive and well on Saturday, though exhausted, according to an HNN report.

She had gone missing on Thursday.

Rabbanit Pinto had gone to Argentina for medical treatment.

After she was found, she was transferred to a hospital for medical treatment.

In Argentina, One Priest Worth More than 50,000 Jews

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Last Wednesday, at the height of Operation Protective Edge, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner warned Israel that no harm came to an Argentine priest caring for a group of 30 disabled children in the Gaza Strip. But the socialist president couldn’t seem to find the words to support the 50,000 Argentine nationals who live in Israel. 

Writing on Twitter, Fernandez de Kirchner said “Israel is responsible for the safety of priest Jorge Hernandez and those people in his care,” and added that “A worsening of the situation of these people will have severe consequences for bilateral relations.”

According to Andalou Agency,  a Turkish online news site that seems to be a government mouthpiece (no concrete information about AA’s political leanings could be found on the website), Fernandez de Kirchner made the comments on the heels of a phone call by the country’s Jewish Foreign Minister Hector Timerman who expressed Buenos Aires’ opposition to civilian deaths to Israel’s ambassador to Argentina, Dorit Shavit, Timmerman reportedly emphasised the Israeli government’s responsibility to protect Argentine citizens in Gaza, including making sure the orphanage received sufficient supplies of food, water and electricity.

However,  when Jewish community officials challenged the president to make a statement regarding Hamas rocket attacks on Argentine Israelis, Fernandez de Kirchner couldn’t quite seem to find the right words. According to one community leader in Buenos Aires, the  president showed little interest in the wellbeing of Argentine citizens living in Israel, and refused to retract her statement regarding Father Hernandez. The socialist De Kirchner has come under fire in Argentina for coddling Iran since her election in 2007. Although both countries maintained embassies in the opposite capitals, relations between Buenos Aires and Tehran were strained for 15 years following the bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) in July, 1994. 

Aftermath of the AMIA bombing, July 18, 1994

Aftermath of the AMIA bombing, July 18, 1994

Since coming to power, however, De Kirchner has played a central role in Iran’s emergence as a regional power in South America. Under her leadership, Buenos Aires has announced it would abandon efforts to bring current and former Iranian officials to justice for their roles in the AMIA bombing, despite the fact that Argentine Jewish leaders have shown conclusively that that attack, which claimed the lives of 85 people and injured more than 200, was perpetrated by Iran. 

Principal suspects in the case include former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and current Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi, who directed the Ministry’s foreign intelligence  service in the 1990s, at the time of the AMIA bombing and when scores of dissidents were assassinated inside and outside Iran, has also been implicated. 

Iran refused to carry out a 2006 arrest warrant, issued by an Argentine judge, for Rafsanjani, Pourmohammadi and eight other ex-officials, claiming the attempt to bring the officials to justice was a “Zionist plot”.

Not insignificantly, Iran-Arentina trade ties have spiked under De Kirchner’s leadership. According to the InterAmerican Security Watch website, exports from Argentina to Iran jumped from around $84 million in 2008 to some $1.2 billion in 2011, making Argentina Iran’s second-largest trading partner in South America, after Brazil. 

More recently, the Digital Journal website reported that Tehran has continued to make inroads around South America with a series of trade arrangements with Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and other Latin American nations. The contracts are approximated to be worth some $40 billion dollars, specialists explained.
 

Israeli Filmmaker Amos Gitai Making Movie about AMIA Bombing

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Award-winning Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai is preparing a film about the AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires.

The Brazilian production company Prana Films will produce the movie based on the 1994 bombing attack on the center that left 85 dead and hundreds wounded.

One venue will be the Paraguayan city of Ciudad del Este, which shares a border with Argentina and Brazil. The terrorist Hezbollah organization is active in the city, according to intelligence sources.

Argentine actor Ricardo Darin and French actress Juliette Binoche reportedly have expressed interest in the film and have received an updated script with an expected budget of $3.5 million.

The film will be based on Argentine special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who is investigating the bombing. Nisman has accused Iran of sponsoring the attack and declared unconstitutional his country’s memorandum of understanding with Iran to jointly investigate the deadly attack.

Gitai, who has won awards for his films at the prestigious Cannes and Venice festivals, said the AMIA film “is a story about relationships, about how the attack affected the community and what is happening in Latin America with the law.”

He told the La Nacion newspaper in Paris that his partners had looked for financial support from Argentina but did not find any interest.

“I think it is because of the economic situation there,” he told an Argentine newspaper in an interview from Paris.

Gitai has written many films based on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-filmmaker-amos-gitai-making-movie-about-amia-bombing/2014/03/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: