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Argentina Launches Campaign To Remember Jewish Center Attack

Argentina’s president and several of the country’s international sports stars are among those featured in a new campaign to remember the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish center.

The campaign, launched a week before the 17th anniversary of the attack, is called “Attack the Neglect.” Its objective is to gain media attention before Monday’s memorial ceremony commemorating the July 18, 1994 attack calling on not only Jewish institutions or Jewish opinion leaders but all walks of society to ask for justice.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, global soccer stars Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez, and U.S. Open tennis champion Juan Martin Del Potro are among its participants.

The AMIA attack killed 85 and wounded more than 300. Though the government of Iran has been accused of directing the bombing, and Hezbollah of carrying it out, no arrests have been made in the case.

“We face the hard challenge of fighting with the effects of time and the impunity, so this year’s campaign is taking place before the remembrance day and is composed of actions that disrupt life and everyday issues, to re-remember what happened 17 years ago,” AMIA director of communications Gabriel Scherman told JTA.

Kirchner appears in an ad holding a T shirt in front of her with the words “This T-shirt is an attack on the neglect.” AMIA has distributed the photo through social networks.

In a photo of the Argentine national team, Messi and Tevez are holding a sign with the message, “This is an attack on the neglect.” Messi was named the best player in the world; Tevez was the top scorer in the last Premier League championship.

The national tennis squad, which is playing in the semifinals of the Davis Cup, is holding a banner in its team photo that reads: “The national team does not forget the 85 people that were killed in the bombing of the AMIA 17 years ago. You should not either.”

“The president’s support and the participation of great Argentine sports figures together multiply the spread of a message to all of society,” Scherman said, “and we think that the impunity of the AMIA case involves our society as a whole.”

Kirchner told AMIA that she will be attending the memorial ceremony at the center, which rebuilt its facilities on the same site of the bombing.

The main speaker will be a non-Jewish judge, Daniel Rafecas, who is well known in Argentina for applying the country’s anti-discrimination law in a case centering on skinheads. Rafecas ordered them to visit the Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires for their probation.

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