March 16, 2016, BUENOS AIRES–More than 400 Jewish leaders from around the globe met at the plenary session of the World Jewish Congress being held in the Argentine capital.
“President Macri, you have promised that after all this time, Argentina will bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice,” WJC president Ronald Lauder said at the gala opening dinner at the Sheraton Hotel in Buenos Aires. “We believe you. We trust you. And the World Jewish Congress stands with you to help in any way that we can.”
Argentine president Mauricio Macri addressed the opening gala Tuesday night of the plenary assembly. In his speech Macri promised his government pledged to press forward with the investigation into two terror attacks which rocked Argentina in 1992 and 1994, targeting the embassy of Israel and the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires. In his speech to the dinner guests, Macri said: “Argentina is back in the world and stands ready to join in all battles for human rights, and against terrorism.”
Lauder said the embassy and AMIA attacks “were not just attacks on Jews, but attacks on Argentina.” He also said the shooting death of Alberto Nisman, the Argentine prosecutor who was investigating the AMIA bombing, was “not just an attack on a Jewish lawyer. This was an attack on Argentina’s entire system of justice.”
Argentina’s president Macri
“We are fully committed to contribute in any way we can to make headway with this investigation,” said Macri, reminding the audience his government in its first week in power in December voided an agreement with Iran to jointly investigate the AMIA bombing, calling it unconstitutional. “Here, we suffer the ravaging consequences of two bomb attacks. We are still in the dark of what happened,” Macri said.
Lauder also highlighted Macri’s support for Israel and his pledge to fight for human rights and against terrorism: “History shows: countries that side with democracies like the United States and Israel see their economies expand. They see their countries grow stronger. But when countries side with totalitarian governments like Cuba and Iran, the only thing they produce for their people is poverty and unrest.”
Iran is suspected by the Argentine judiciary of having masterminded the 1994 AMIA bombing in which 85 people were killed and hundreds wounded. So far this investigation and that into the 1992 Israeli embassy bombing in Buenos Aires in which 29 people died have not been completed.