Argentines in Israel to hold ‘I am Nisman’ protest

Ron Kampeas

Ad appearing on social media for protest outside Argentinean embassy in Israel on Jan. 23 2015

This ad is appearing on social media for a protest outside the Argentine Embassy in Israel on Jan. 23, 2015. (From the Kehila Latina in Israel Facebook page)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) – A group of Argentines in Israel will hold an “I am Nisman” protest at the Argentine Embassy to raise questions about the suspicious shooting death of the AMIA special prosecutor.

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Kehila Latina in Israel, which was formed two years ago to protest plans by the Argentine and Iranian governments to jointly investigate the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, said the demonstration would take place outside the Tel Aviv-area embassy on Friday morning.

Alberto Nisman, who led the bombing probe for a decade, was found dead in his apartment on Monday of a gunshot wound just hours before he was to testify about charges he intended to bring against Argentina’s president, Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, and foreign minister, Hector Timerman, for colluding to obscure Iran’s role in the bombing in exchange for favorable oil prices for Argentina.

Placards will show Nisman with the phrase “I am Nisman” in Spanish modeled after the “I am Charlie” campaign in French launched in the wake of the terrorist attack by Islamists in Paris earlier this month of staff for the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Among the scheduled speakers at Friday’s rally is the Argentine-Israeli journalist Roxana Levinson, whose uncle Jaime Plaksin was among the 85 people killed in the AMIA bombing. Her aunt Graciela Levinson had been killed in 1992 in the terrorist attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires.

“This death is like another bomb,” she told JTA. “I cried for the Argentinian people’s dignity.”

Leon Amiras, the chairman of OLEI, the organization that represents Latin America immigrants in Israel, will also speak.

Some 120,000 Latin Americans live in Israel, including 80,000 from Argentina. Argentine Jews held a similar protest outside the rebuilt AMIA building in Buenos Aires on Wednesday.

When Julio Schlosser, the president of the DAIA, the Jewish community, noted that 85 people had been killed in the AMIA attack, people in the crowd shouted “86,” a reference to Nisman. The number 86 has become shorthand for Nisman’s death on social media.

No one from the ruling parties attended the Buenos Aires rally, although opposition party representatives were present, as were the Israeli and French ambassadors.

“This shock to Argentinean society is similar to the shock that we live after Charlie Hebdo,” Jean Michel Casa, the French ambassador, told reporters.