Jewish demonstrators in Brazil held a minute’s silence ahead of the World Cup match between Argentina and Iran on Saturday, remembering the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires for which Israel has blamed Iran.
The protesters demanded justice for the victims of the attack on the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), which left 85 people dead in 1994, with the perpetrators still at-large 20 years later.
Wearing black T-shirts, dozens of demonstrators recited the names of the victims then held their heads in silence at 12:59 — exactly one minute before Argentina and Iran kicked off their Group F match in Belo Horizonte.
An Argentinian prosecutor has blamed Iran and its Hezbollah proxy for the attack and Jewish groups are outraged no one has been brought to justice for the worst terrorist attack in Argentine history.
Jewish groups resorted to their own event after a deafening silence after asking FIFA to hold an official moment of silence before the game to mark the attack.
“This is a great opportunity to express our need for justice, a chance to remind people what happened,” said organiser Dov Bigio. “We wanted to pay homage to the victims who can’t be here today.”
Iran denies any involvement in the bombing, and rejects the indictment as a “Zionist conspiracy”. The Iranian suspects have spent years on Interpol lists and there is no indication that Iran will ever give them up, despite the two countries having recently set up a “truth commission” over the AMIA bombing.