Global Affairs

Vicious Assault on Argentina’s Chief Rabbi Condemned by Political Leaders

Intruders broke into the house of Argentina’s chief rabbi, stole money, beat him, and seriously injured him, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.

A statement from Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA), the Jewish communal organization in Buenos Aires, said that a group of strangers broke into the home Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich at two o’clock in the morning.

The assailants also told  Davidovich, “We know that you are the AMIA Rabbi.”

Davidovich was hospitalized with nine broken ribs; his wife was tied up but was otherwise unhurt.

The Times of Israel reported that Aryeh Davidovich, the chief rabbi’s son, described the attack. According to the younger Davidovich, his father heard noises and left his bedroom to investigate. He saw an intruder trying to escape downstairs. The rabbi followed the man and was set upon by his accomplices.

“Then they started shouting and three more burglars came from downstairs, pushed him on the stairs, beat him, bound him. He lost consciousness. They took my mother and asked for all the money she had, and she gave them everything she had,” the son said.

Aryeh Davidovich also said that he believed that the motive was robbery and that the assailants figured that the communal rabbi would be rich.

The attack prompted statements condemning the attack and offering support to the chief rabbi.

“We denounce the attack that chief rabbi Gabriel Davidovich suffered in his home,” Mauricio Macri, Argentina’s president wrote on Twitter. “We are with him as he recovers and he has our support for an investigation to find those responsible.”

In a tweet condemning the attack as “despicable,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said, “The State of Israel will do everything necessary to protect Jews wherever they choose to live.” More generally, he called on all nations “to ensure the security of their Jewish communities” and to demonstrate an “uncompromising rejection of anti-Semitism.”

Other Israeli politicians across the spectrum also condemned the attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “I send wishes for a quick recovery to Argentina Chief Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich and his wife who were viciously assaulted.”

He added, “We must not let anti-Semitism rear its head. I strongly condemn the recent acts of anti-Semitism and call on the international community to take action against it.”

Isaac Herzog, chairman of the Jewish Agency, said that it is “imperative we fight against the human garbage who are driven by their hatred of Jews.”

Benny Gantz, the chairman of the new Israel Resilience party, condemned the attack on Davidovich and said that he would act “firmly” against anti-Semitism.

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who is running with Gantz, said, “Israel is prepared to fight anti-Semitism anytime and anywhere.”

AMIA said that the attack was cause for “alarm” and expressed “its deep concern” over the incident.

In 1994, the AMIA building was destroyed, and 85 people were killed in a terror attack that was carried out by Iran and Hezbollah.

[Photo: amiatv / YouTube ]