Argentina

Rabbi Beaten in Central Argentina in Another South American Antisemitic Attack

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A rabbi in Rosario, the third most populous city in Argentina, was verbally and physically attacked in violence characterized as anti-Semitic, local media reported Monday.

Rabbi Shlomo Tawil, co-director of the local Chabad-Lubavitch organization, was attacked Sunday night by three men in Rosario, located in the center of the country. The men shouted anti-Semitic epithets before removing the rabbi’s hat and trampling it on the ground, then beating the rabbi, who was walking alone.

The attack was stopped when passersby intervened. It has been characterized as anti-Semitic, since the attackers appeared to have started up with the rabbi to hurt him, and did not steal anything.

The local representative of the DAIA Jewish political umbrella in Argentina, Gabriel Dobkin, told local media Monday that the organization would file a complaint with police in the coming hours. He said that police were working with a city prosecutor to determine if the attack was captured on surveillance cameras and called for a thorough investigation.

Dobkin called the attack on the rabbi “a fierce, cowardly, anti-Semitic attack.”

DAIA and the Jewish community of Rosario said in a joint statement that they “demand from the authorities a total and absolute clarification of this unfortunate event.”

“We hope that these violent people will be definitively eradicated from Argentine society, which has chosen the path of coexistence, peace and justice,” the statement also said.

The rabbi is recovering at home with his family. Originally from Buenos Aires, he has served as the Chabad emissary in Rosario since 1987, and is married, with eight children and two grandchildren.

The president of the local city council, Antonio Bonfatti, tweeted Monday that “as a society we cannot allow these acts of violence and intolerance,” and called for “peace and coexistence.”

The attack on Tawil is the third physical anti-Semitic attack in the country in the last two months. The other attacks took place in Buenos Aires, when a couple attacked worshipers in a synagogue in April, and in May, when a local rabbi was attacked.

In February Argentina’s chief rabbi, Gabriel Davidovich, was seriously injured in a brutal attack during a home robbery that is currently believed to be gang-related and not anti-Semitic. Five suspected attackers were arrested in that case.