Will Those Who Covered Up the 1994 Buenos Aires Bombing at Last Be Brought to Justice?

Dec. 13 2017

Last week, an Argentine judge indicted his country’s former president, Cristina Kirchner, for her role in obstructing an investigation into Iran’s responsibility for the deadly bombing of a Jewish center over two decades ago. Now the country’s senate must determine whether to remove her presidential immunity so that a trial can take place. Mark Dubowitz and Toby Dershowitz explain what’s at stake:

From 2004 until 2015 . . . the [Argentinian] prosecutor Alberto Nisman tirelessly pursued the truth behind this crime. He knew from his investigation that the attack was an Iranian-planned operation. And he determined that President Kirchner was behind a cover-up designed to whitewash Iran’s role.

What drove Kirchner? Argentina faced deep economic problems at the time, and the financial benefits of closer relations with Iran might have tempted her. Her government also had populist ties to Iran and the Bolivarian bloc of nations led by Venezuela. . . .

When the federal judge Claudio Bonadio handed down the 491-page indictment against the former president, her foreign minister Hector Timerman, her handpicked intelligence chief, her top legal adviser, two pro-Iran activists, and ten others, he didn’t mince words. He called the attack on the Jewish community center an “act of war” by Iran and accused Kirchner of covering up the role of senior Iranian leaders and their Hizballah proxies in exchange for a trade deal. . . .

Three years ago, Nisman was set to testify to the country’s congress on Kirchner’s role in the cover-up. The day before his testimony . . . he was found dead in his apartment in Buenos Aires, with a bullet in his head. This, despite the fact that he had a ten-man security detail paid to protect him. . . . In a normal democracy, investigating the murder of a man like Alberto Nisman would be a top priority. But Kirchner and her allies assured that justice . . . was stymied for years.

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Read more at New York Times

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

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