MIL-OSI USA: Díaz-Balart, Wasserman Schultz, Gonzales, Espaillat Lead Latino-Jewish Caucus in Commemorating Anniversary of AMIA Jewish Center Bombing, Demand Accountability

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (25th District of FLORIDA)

WASHINGTON, D.C.– This week, U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (FL-26), Co-Chair of the Latino-Jewish Caucus, was joined by fellow Latino-Jewish Caucus Co-Chairs, Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-25), Tony Gonzales (TX-23), and Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) in sponsoring a resolution to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires and demanding justice and accountability for those responsible for the attack.

 

“It has been three decades since the lethal AMIA Jewish Center Bombing took place in Buenos Aires, and we continue to tirelessly demand justice and accountability for the vile perpetrators responsible for the attack, including Iran’s current Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi and other terrorist proxies. We solemnly remember and mourn the victims of this horrific act; they will never be forgotten. Since the terrorist attack against innocent Israelis on October 7, we have witnessed a dramatic rise in antisemitism, hatred, and vitriol against the Jewish community, as well as the attempts to delegitimize Israel both across our country – from campuses to businesses, and even here within the House. We know the consequences of ignoring the insidious threat of bigotry and antisemitism and must not let history repeat itself. I remain unwavering in my commitment to combatting antisemitism and will continue working with my colleagues to hold accountable those who engage in hateful acts,” said Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart.

“It has been three decades since the tragic AMIA Jewish Center bombing, yet there is still no justice for the 85 victims, the hundreds of injured, and countless people who were traumatized,” said Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “With antisemitism on the rise around the world, this attack on Argentina’s thriving Jewish community must not go unanswered. Congressmen Diaz-Balart, Espaillat, Gonzales, and I are proud to honor the victims of this attack and champion justice for their loved ones.”

 

“Three decades ago, 85 souls were taken from our world far too soon in the AMIA Jewish Center bombing in Buenos Aires. As leaders of the Latino-Jewish Caucus, we remain a steady hand in Congress in the fight to eradicate the horrors of antisemitism. We will never forget the victims, their families, and all those touched by this horrific tragedy—may justice and accountability prevail,” said Congressman Tony Gonzales.

 

“As a co-chair of the Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus, I am proud to join my colleagues to reintroduce this resolution recognizing the attack on the AMIA in Buenos Aires, which was the deadliest terrorist attack in Argentine history,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat. “Today’s bipartisan resolution, demonstrates our unified commitment to ensuring justice for each of the victims as we embrace their families and loved ones. Terrorism and antisemitic hate have no place in our society, and this legislative effort reaffirms our solidarity with the Jewish community of Argentina and around the world.”

 

“This summer, Argentine and Jewish communities worldwide will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the bombing of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) building, the center of the Jewish community in Buenos Aires, and the deadliest antisemitic attack outside Israel since the Holocaust,” said Dina Siegel Vann, Director, The Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs, AJC. Within two days of the attack, American Jewish Committee (AJC) was on the ground in Argentina to show solidarity with the Jewish community and thirty years later our support has never waned. “We continue to put pressure on the Argentinian government to find those responsible, hold those responsible accountable and do whatever necessary to prevent future attacks. We are deeply grateful to the co-chairs of the Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus, Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Mario Díaz-Balart, Adriano Espaillat, and Tony Gonzales, for their efforts to ensure that the causes of memory and justice continue to be well served.”

 

First established in 2011 with support from the American Jewish Committee, the bipartisan Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus has cemented stronger bonds based on Latino and Jewish communities’ shared histories as immigrants and minorities. It has also been vocal in responding to the growing wave of antisemitism across the globe and anti-Latino hate in the U.S. The 25-member Caucus is now led by Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), and Tony Gonzales (R-TX).

 

The text of the resolution can be found here and below. 

 

Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ submitted the following resolution: 

 

Condemning the attack on the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in July 1994 and encouraging accountability for the attack.

 

Whereas, 30 years ago, on July 18, 1994, 85 innocent people were killed and 300 were injured when the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (hereinafter referred to as “AMIA”) was bombed in Buenos Aires, Argentina;

 

Whereas the AMIA bombing was the deadliest attack on Jewish people outside Israel since the Holocaust;

 

Whereas it is reported that considerable evidence links the attack to the terrorist group Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon, supported by the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, and sponsored by Iran, a United States-designated state sponsor of terrorism since 1984;

 

Whereas, 2 years earlier, Hezbollah operatives also blew up the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 civilians and injuring 242;

 

Whereas the 30 years since the bombing have been marred by a failure to bring those responsible, including Iran-backed operatives and their Hezbollah proxies, to justice;

 

Whereas, in September 2004, 10 years after the attack, Alberto Nisman was appointed as the Special Prosecutor in charge of the 1994 AMIA bombing investigation;

 

Whereas, in October 2006, Argentine prosecutors Alberto Nisman and Marcelo Martinez Burgos formally accused the Iranian regime of directing the bombing, and the Hezbollah militia of carrying it out;

 

Whereas Ibrahim Hussein Berro, a member of the terrorist group Hezbollah, was identified as the AMIA bomber;

 

Whereas, in November 2006, an Argentine judge issued arrest warrants for 8 Iranian nationals, including high-ranking government and military officials, and one Lebanese national, who were named as suspects in the AMIA bombing;

 

Whereas, in November 2007, INTERPOL voted to put the following suspects in the 1994 AMIA attack on its most wanted list: Ali Fallahijan, Mohsen Rabbani, Ahmad Reza Asghari, Ahmad Vahidi, and Mohsen Razaee from Iran and Imad Fayez Moughnieh from Lebanon;

 

Whereas INTERPOL currently has 5 red alerts in place in relation to the AMIA attack;

 

Whereas the investigation of the AMIA bombing has been marked by judicial misconduct and undue influence;

 

Whereas no Iranian suspects for the AMIA bombing have faced prosecution;

 

Whereas former Federal judge Juan Jose Galeano and former State Intelligence Secretariat intelligence head Hugo Anzorreguy have both been convicted and sentenced to prison for subverting the investigation and concealing evidence;

 

Whereas, in 2019, the Argentine Government declared Hezbollah a terrorist organization, expelled all members of the organization from the country, and froze their assets in Argentina;

 

Whereas, in 2020, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez reaffirmed the commitment of the Argentine Republic to bring those responsible for the attack to justice;

 

Whereas, in 2021, Ahmad Vahidi and Mohsen Rezai, 2 Iranian suspects from the 1994 bombing, were appointed by Iran’s Ebrahim Raisi, and confirmed by the Islamic Consultative Assembly, to the Iranian Cabinet;

 

Whereas, on April 12, 2024, Argentina’s highest criminal court, the Argentine Court of Cassation, broke the extended silence of the justice system by affirming Iran’s responsibility for the deadly bombing and declaring it a “crime against humanity”;

 

Whereas, according to news reports of the ruling, the court identified “top Iranian officials and paramilitary Revolutionary Guard commanders in its determination that Iran carried out the bombings in response to Argentina scrapping three contracts that would have provided Tehran with nuclear technology in the mid-1980s”;

 

Whereas Argentine President Javier Milei commended the high court’s ruling, noting that the determination was a “significant step” that put an end to decades of “delays and cover-ups”;

 

Whereas leaders in the Argentine Jewish community, including AMIA President Amos Linetzky, noted that the historic ruling would finally provide an opportunity for survivors and relatives of victims to seek legal action against Iran;

 

Whereas the Foreign Ministry of Argentina responded to the court’s ruling by requesting that INTERPOL issue an immediate international arrest notice for Ahmad Vahidi, who is now the Iranian Interior Minister, “as one of those responsible for the attack on AMIA”; and

 

Whereas, today, Argentina is home to over 250,000 Jewish people, making it the largest home to Jews in Latin America and the sixth-largest in the world: Now, therefore, be it

 

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

 

(1) condemns the 1994 attack on the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and honors the victims of this heinous act;

 

(2) expresses sympathy to the relatives of the victims, who have waited for 3 decades without justice for the loss of their loved ones, and may have to wait even longer for justice to be served;

 

(3) underscores the concern of the United States regarding the continuing, 30-year-long delay in the proper resolution of this case;

 

(4) calls for the perpetrators of this horrific act, including Iranian and Hezbollah operatives, to be held accountable for their crimes;

 

(5) demands that INTERPOL member countries comply with arrest orders for individuals responsible for the deadly attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center; and

 

(6) stands in solidarity with the Jewish community of Argentina and the broader Latin American and Caribbean Jewish diaspora at a time of surging antisemitism around the world.

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