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Federal Minister Jim Carr

By BERNIE BELLAN
For years now the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, in which 85 persons lost their lives, has been marked by commemorative ceremonies at the Berney Theatre each July.

 

 


This year, however, it being the 25th anniversary of what was the worst terrorist incident ever perpetrated on a Jewish community outside Israel, the event took on a special significance.
Over 200 individuals packed the Berney Theatre for this year’s commemoration. The event was jointly sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, B’nai Brith Canada, The League for Human Rights B’nai Brith Canada, Congregation Shaarey Zedek, and the Argentinean Manitoban Association.
In his remarks to the audience, Jim Carr, Federal Minister of International Trade Diversification, and the Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre (and the only politician present) commented on the singing of three national anthems at the beginning of the evening’s program: “Listening to all three anthems (of Argentina, Canada, and Israel), speaks to who we are as a people. Those of us who sang O Canada felt a sense of belonging, especially when we reflect on the freedom that this country has given us to be who we are.
“When we listen to Hatikvah, we are reminded of the land of our heritage – perhaps of our future.
“When my grandparents came to Canada it was because they were persecuted as Jews (in Ukraine). Jews around the world still suffer from persecution. Many of us have chosen Winnipeg as our home…We are resilient, we give, we remember, we persevere, we thrive – and we will flourish.”

Ran Ukashi, National Director, League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada, noted in his remarks that there are two aspects to the AMIA commemoration: Not only is there the bombing itself, but the subsequent investigation of the bombing and its evident stymieing at every turn by Argentinean authorities represent two outrages.
As Ukashi said, “This act of remembrance is only one part of why we are here. To this day not one person has been held responsible for this horrendous crime.”
Ukashi referred to the apparent 2015 murder of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was allegedly close to bringing charges in the AMIA bombing that would have laid blame at the very highest levels of the Argentinean government, including the then-president of Argentina.
“In 2015 Alberto Nisman was murdered in his home,” Ukashi said. “Some say he has become the AMIA bombing’s 86th victim. Justice often arrives late; Argentina has listed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and frozen its assets in the country.”

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