Juan Gelman 1994


Source: Pagina 12, July 7, 1994;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2010.

Translator’s note: On July 18, 1994 the offices of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA), the main Jewish organization in Argentina, were bombed in Buenos Aires, killing 85. Though official investigations were seriously botched, there is strong reason to believe it was carried out by Hezbollah with Iranian assistance.

The terrorist attack on the AMIA is not only a crime against the Jewish community. It is also a crime against the Argentine people, in which the AMIA is inextricably rooted, and is above all a crime against humanity, for it was guided by the same mentality that organized the Holocaust, that hates the Other, the different; that maims itself in maiming the Other, that knows only enraged intolerance in the face of human richness.

The attack also represents the persistence of this evil in Argentine society. I don’t believe in the theory of a foreign conspiracy. Within the bowels of the country, also inextricably united with it, there exists the monstrous beast of the suppression of the other. It can become flesh and blood, as proved by the military assassins who Alfonsín and Menem pardoned. The debt these two civilians owe humanity is immense, these men who civil society installed as presidents and who betrayed its pain. They, too, condoned the mutilation of the other.

When my mother was seven a pogrom broke out in Tsarist Russia. She remembered her house set aflame and my grandmother pulling the children from the fire, except for one two-year old girl, who was burned to death there. Among the dead of the attack on the AMIA was certainly that aunt I never knew.