Iran and Argentina Plotted to Cover up the Bombing of a Jewish Center, and Then to Kill Alberto Nisman for Investigating It

In 1997, an Argentinian lawyer named Alberto Nisman was asked to take the leading role in prosecuting fifteen policemen who stood accused of carrying out the deadly bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos Aires three years prior. Nisman soon realized that the officers were being framed, and began investigating the case anew—an investigation which led him to uncover Iran’s responsibility for the bombing, and a conspiracy by the Argentine government to obscure it. While his death in 2015—just before he was supposed to testify about his findings to the Argentinian legislature—was initially ruled a suicide, it soon became clear that he was murdered. Gustavo D. Perednik explains Tehran’s role in the cover-up, and in Nisman’s death:

The plot to cover up Iran’s responsibility for the AMIA bombing began on Saturday, January 13, 2007, when the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on his Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chávez, at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas. The two leaders claimed to be the vanguard of an anti-imperialistic war against the United States and regarded each other as close allies. . . . Chávez not only became the junior partner in an alliance with the Iranians but also drew other countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, and Nicaragua into the Iranian orbit. . . .

Apparently, during [a] secret meeting with Chávez, Ahmadinejad expressed his concern with the imminent Interpol convention in France, where Nisman, the Argentinian representative, planned to restate his demand that Interpol monitor the Iranians [suspected of having helped plan and carry out the AMIA bombing]. Ahmadinejad probably offered Chávez a substantial sum of money, as Venezuela purchased (with Iranian money) six-billion dollars of the Argentinian debt by the end of 2008. . . .

In October of 2010, . . . [Chávez] finally persuaded [Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner] to accept the benefits for both of their countries of making an agreement with Iran. Three months later, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman signed a secret agreement [with Iran] in Aleppo. Further impetus for this subterfuge derived from the Obama administration’s [insistence] that Iran was no longer an enemy and from the [promise] that the Iranian government would pour endless resources into Argentina.

Kirchner and Timerman were not averse to contacting Mohsen Rabbani, the mastermind of the AMIA terror attack. Moreover, they assured Iran that the withdrawal of Interpol red alerts against Iranian terrorists would follow the signing of an open agreement. The plan was to set up a fictitious “Commission of Truth” with judges from both Iran and Argentina. . . . The commission was given the task of shedding light upon the terror attack and its motives, despite the fact that the secret treaty of 2011 had designated a different role for the “Commission of Truth”: . . . to bury the case by spreading false information and fomenting confusion. . . . The legal brief [prepared by] Alberto Nisman on January 14, 2015 provides extensively the details of this project and discloses the real purpose of the commission.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Alberto Nisman, AMIA bombing, Argentina, Hizballah, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Venezuela

Gaza’s Quiet Dissenters

Last year, the Dubai-based television channel Al-Arabiya, the Times of Israel, and several other media organizations worked together to conduct numerous interviews with residents of the Gaza Strip, taking great pains to protect their identities. The result is a video series titled Whispers in Gaza, which presents a picture of life under Hamas’s tyranny unlike anything that can be found in the press. Jeff Jacoby writes:

Through official intimidation or social pressure, Gazans may face intense pressure to show support for Hamas and its murderous policies. So when Hamas organizes gaudy street revels to celebrate a terrorist attack—like the fireworks and sweets it arranged after a gunman murdered seven Israelis outside a Jerusalem synagogue Friday night—it can be a challenge to remember that there are many Palestinians who don’t rejoice at the murder of innocent Jews.

In one [interview], “Fatima” describes the persecution endured by her brother, a humble vegetable seller, after he refused to pay protection money to Hamas. The police arrested him on a trumped-up drug charge and locked him in prison. “They beat him repeatedly to make him confess to things he had nothing to do with,” she says. Then they threatened to kill him. Eventually he fled the country, leaving behind a family devastated by his absence.

For those of us who detest Hamas no less than for those who defend it, it is powerful to hear the voices of Palestinians like “Layla,” who is sickened by the constant exaltation of war and “resistance” in the Palestinian media. “If you’re a Gazan citizen who opposes war and says, ‘I don’t want war,’ you’re branded a traitor,” she tells her interviewer. “It’s forbidden to say you don’t want war.” So people keep quiet, she explains, for fear of being tarred as disloyal.

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Read more at Boston Globe

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Palestinian dissidents, Palestinian public opinion