February 20, 2015

Heastie, Lavine and Rozic Urge Investigation into Growing Anti-Semitism in Argentina
Call for Accountability and Transparency Following Attacks on
Latin America's Largest Jewish Community

Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie joined with Assemblymembers Charles Lavine and Nily Rozic in a letter to urge Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to investigate the rise of anti-semitic attacks and the death of Alberto Nisman. Mr. Nisman was an Argentine Prosecutor who was investigating allegations that senior government officials participated in a cover-up of Iranian involvement in the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy and the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Aid Society (AMIA).

“The alleged suicide of Argentine Proesecutor Alberto Nisman demands a thorough and transparent investigation,” said Assembly Speaker Heastie. “The eyes of the world are on Argentina, and we in the New York State Assembly are making a bold and emphatic statement that we are gravely concerned about the safety of Jewish citizens across the globe, especially in light of recent events and the tragic death of Mr. Nisman. Nothing less than a full investigation of Alberto Nisman’s death – one that allows all the facts to come out – will be acceptable.”

The letter highlighted the impact of Mr. Nisman’s unfinished work on the Israeli Embassy and AMIA attacks and called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death. Further, they ask that the Argentine government continue the investigation that Mr. Nisman headed to ensure that justice is served.

“I have grave concern regarding the alarming events in Argentina related to the purported suicide of federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman and the palpable anti-semitism in Argentina. The untimely death of prosecutor Nisman, prior to his testimony before congress relating to Iran’s involvement in the deadly terrorist bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish Center in 1994, has given rise to questions that demand answers not just for Argentina’s Jewish community but the world that is watching,” said Assemblyman Lavine.

“As an Argentine Jew, I share in the shock surrounding the tragic and untimely death of Mr. Nisman. This outrageous act along with the recent spate of attacks targeting Jews in Argentina should be investigated to ensure the ongoing safety of Latin America's largest Jewish community. My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Nisman’s family, and with Argentina's Jewish community who still seek justice for the embassy and AMIA victims more than twenty years later. A full, immediate, and transparent investigation must happen so that justice prevails,” said Assemblywoman Rozic.

With a population of approximately 250,000, Argentina is home to the largest Jewish community in Latin America. The full letter with 59 Assembly and State Senate signatories is attached.


Click here to view letter.