BUENOS AIRES—Argentina’s Chief Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich was violently assaulted by a group of people who entered his house located in the Buenos Aires’ neighborhood of Once.
Rabbi Davidovich was beaten and seriously wounded in the assault, which was carried out by assailants who had apparently been monitoring their home prior to perpetration. The assailants stole money and belongings.
During the assault, the attackers singled out Rabbi Davidovich as a Jew, and said, ‘‘We know that you are the AMIA rabbi.’’ The rabbi’s wife was present at the time of the attack.
AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina or Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) is the Jewish community center in the Argentinian capital.
Rabbi Davidovich, who is in charge of the High Rabbinate of the AMIA, suffered serious injuries due to the heavy blows received. He was hospitalized in a medical center in the city.
“With deep concern, AMIA regrets and strongly repudiates the violent assault,” the Jewish institution said in a statement. At the same time, it expressed “his profound uneasiness over the expressions that the criminals used before attacking the Chief Rabbi, which constitute-without a doubt-a cause for alarm.”
AMIA also called on the authorities to “quickly and totally clarify the attack perpetrated against the rabbi.”
The Delegation of Argentine Israelite Associations (DAIA) also condemned the anti-Semitic attack. Its president, Jorge Knoblovits, visited Rabbi Davidovich in the hospital and expressed his solidarity and support to AMIA.
In a statement, DAIA called on the authorities to investigate the case that, it said, ‘’ is part of the anti-Semitic events that are taking place in different European countries.’’
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) said it was ‘’shocked and incensed’’ by the brutal attack against the Chief Rabbi.
“An investigation is currently underway, and we are grateful that the authorities in Buenos Aires and Argentina are treating this matter with the severity and concern that it deserves,” said WJC CEO Robert Singer. “It is not yet clear whether this was a targeted crime of hateful antisemitism or a barbaric criminal act, but we trust that the authorities will continue to do everything in their power to determine the motive and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
He added : ‘’(Argentinian) President Mauricio Macri and his administration are close and supportive friends of the community and we know that they will work to protect the community in every way possible.’’
Around 200,00 Jews live in Argentina, the largest Jewish community in Latin America and the sixth largest Jewish community in the world. 90% of the Argentinian Jews live in Buenos Aires.
In July 1994, a truck loaded with explosives drove into the seven-story AMIA building in the Argentinian capital. Eighty-five, mostly Jewish people, died and around 300 were injured.