Inicio CAUSA AMIA AMIA´s President: «We expect Argentina to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization»

AMIA´s President: «We expect Argentina to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization»

Por Gustavo Beron
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Itongadol.- A few days before the 25th anniversary of AMIA´s attack, which killed 85 people, the current president of the entity, Ariel Eichbaum, held an interview with the Agencia AJN and referred to the international demand to denounce Iran’s role in the assault: «We are making progress in England and the United States with Hezbollah being declared a terrorist organization and now we hope that Argentina adopts a similar measure. Countries cannot tolerate in any way that terrorism has sources of financing in their countries».

In addition, Eichbaum mentioned the work they are doing at an international level, such as the photographic exhibition «Twenty-five» that was exhibited at the Argentine consulate in New York and the special session to commemorate the attack that took place at the UN.

-How is the community under your leadership doing?
AMIA is doing very well. We have a number of important projects in all areas. With the team working intensely to control the budget values in this complicated year in Argentina, without neglecting the social and community activity that distinguishes us.

-Is the Social Service going through a particular moment in the country?
At some point we foresaw that it could happen when we saw that devaluation was triggered and inflation had been much more than expected when the budget began to develop. So far it’s not a dramatic moment, but we’re following developments very closely.

-Did you take into account that something like this could happen?
As soon as I took over I did a budget review, foreseeing that it could be a tougher year from a social point of view, so that I could have a residual amount in the event of a social conflict or vulnerability rising.

-How was the trip to New York in the framework of the 25th anniversary of the AMIA attack?
Very interesting and significant. First of all, we were at the UN on Monday, June 24, in a very important meeting. We spoke in the main hall in an activity carried out by the World Jewish Congress. There I transmitted AMIA’s message, after Chancellor Faurie´s speech. Vladimir Voronkov, representative of the UN fight against terrorism, was also present, among other outstanding personalities. It was something memorable. From AMIA we have especially thanked Martín García Moritán, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the UN for having led this initiative to pay tribute to the victims of the attack.
We have had for some years the concept and intention to internationalize the AMIA cause. I think it was a turn of a cadence that I am culminating. Of the few achievements we have at the judicial level in the case are the red flags. We know that this disturbs and bothers Iranians. They make every diplomatic effort to render them ineffective. We think of having a greater presence in all the western democracies so that, as these people move through these places, we can have the strength and empathy in the societies. This way, the exhortations of the Argentine nation will be heeded and those pointed out by justice will be imprisoned.

-This was exposed in the UN, what return did they have?
An absolute solidarity, we in Argentina are used to these issues. But when you have to explain to people around the world something that happened 25 years ago, and you are not simply doing a tribute, you are asking for justice, saying that the cause is open, that there are no detainees, it is difficult to understand. You are surprised again. There was absolute empathy and the speech was very much applauded and was transmitted live and simultaneously through the UN channel for everyone. It was very relevant.

-What is the meaning of AMIA´s attack in an international forum?
It is a precedent of what later materialized in the western capitals of the world. Argentina was an early antecedent of what we lived in France, in the Twin Towers in 2001, in Atocha. People understand it that way. Today there is much more receptivity, there is a clear conscience in the world of the condemnation that terrorism and its origins must have. There is a much more complete awareness and a much stronger will of all these countries, as I understand it.

-Does the AMIA attack connect terrorism with Iran?
Yes, we are making progress in England and the United States with Hezbollah being declared a terrorist organization and now we expect Argentina to take a step into that direction. Nations cannot tolerate in any way that terrorism has funding sources in their countries. This is clear with whom we were able to speak and we spoke with many people from the Jewish Congress, American congressmen, diplomatic representatives from different places, there is an awareness about this and we have to fight in that sense too. There is a commemoration in Washington, the American Congress does it, we hope to be able to take our voice, our homage and request for justice to all the places on earth where we can find ears and collaboration for the arrest of the accused. In the context of the trip to New York, on Thursday we presented at the Argentine Consulate a photographic exhibition, first we made a presentation and press conference at the CCK. I want to emphasize that we had a great ease working with the Chancery and the Consulate, we felt at home. A lot of people are going to see the exhibition, and the inauguration was very well attended, it had a lot of relevance. It will be in New York for a month, in August in the CCK and in November in the country. It is a sample of photos of the attack, a graphic report along with photos of people who are linked to each other. The summary of the works shown is very impressive and the repercussion was absolute.

-Macri’s government said it made progress in relation to AMIA´s attack. How is the relationship?
Absolutely fluid. They are at the disposal of what we need and we are at the disposal of the consultations they make to us. This exhibition was also possible thanks to the Federal Media System and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship. On July 16 comes a group of foreign ministers from around the world, as part of the day of continental fight against terrorism, the lawyer of the cause will speak in front of all the foreign ministers, and the day of the act, July 18, all the foreign ministers come in the tribute at the AMIA, along with Jorge Faurie. Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State will be at AMIA the next day. It is a cooperation and collaboration that also along with the Jewish Congress, AMIA, DAIA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were held acts in commemoration of the attack in all parts of the world in the month of June. In the German parliament, in London, a collaboration that is embodied in all these actions. With the Government of the City, with Culture, with Security, we have permanent contact, dialogue and fluidity.

-Internally, were there consultations about Nisman´s death?
-Yes, everyone places it within the commemoration of July 18. Today it is impossible not to link one theme with the other. The prosecutor died defending the cause of the attack. There is no doubt about that. And that’s how we understand it too.

-And about the Trial in Absence, what position do they have?
-My impression, which we have shared with the president of DAIA and different officials, is that AMIA is the victim of the attack, along with the family members. The victims do not have to provide the solution. We are victims and we want a solution that provides truth and justice. We are not forced to provide that solution, because we don’t have to know what it is. Legislation and international jurisprudence are divided on this issue. I don’t want to wrangle for or against it. I am not bound to do so because there is no certainty as to whether or not this will bring an effective solution.
The Argentine State has the responsibility of providing justice and these are tools that they have. If the tools they adopt are going to give us satisfaction in terms of bringing light and justice to this cause, then we are going to be the first to thank and applaud, because that is what we have been pursuing for a quarter of a century. And if the law is passed and is constitutional and finally there is no substantial progress on the point on which we stand today, we will reserve the right to continue to demand justice. It is the responsibility of the State. I preside over a social institution that has to deal with the community, education, social programs, culture. I am not compelled to bring legal solutions. We have the responsibility to continue in each case and to demand justice.

-How is the relationship with DAIA?
-The relationship with DAIA is harmonious and we work together. Personally, I have a very good relationship with its president, we talk regularly. We work in a very positive harmony. We have very big responsibilities on the community, and we have to exercise them with moderation and with the maximum level of dialogue.

-What is the election´s scenario for next year?
Institutionally we are carrying out the corresponding legal steps so that the processes are done properly, under the law. The campaign of partners was done in time and form. We worked hard to keep things in order. We hope that these elections will be calm, democratic and participative. The more we participate in the Kehila, the stronger the community becomes.

-What is your message in the face of the next 25th anniversary?
Twenty-five years is a long time, a quarter of a century. A whole generation was born in the last 25 years. It is necessary to keep the memory alive and to raise our demand for clarification, for homage, to denounce impunity. We want a fairer country. Therefore, I take this opportunity to call on all society to participate in the Central Act of Thursday July 18, which will be held as every year in front of Pasteur 633, at 9:53. There we will raise our voice again to pay tribute to those who are no longer there, to ask for justice again and to say no to impunity.

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