BUENOS AIRES — Players from Argentina’s national soccer team are featured in a 2011 photo commemorating the victims of the 1994 AMIA bombing.
Most of the players of the team, which will play Sunday in the World Cup Finals in Brazil, posed for the picture in which they hold a red banner reading: “The national team does not forget that 17 years ago, 85 people were killed in the bombing of the AMIA. You shouldn’t forget either.”
Among the players featured was Lionel Messi, the Argentine team’s celebrity forward. The banner the players held for the camera also read: “This as an attack against forgetting.”
The AMIA Jewish center building was blown up on July 18, 1994, shortly after Brazil became World Cup champions in the finals, hosted that year in the United States.
Israel and the Argentine justice system, as well as other Western intelligence agencies, have blamed Iran and Hezbollah for the attack, though the Islamic Republic denies any involvement in it. To date, no one has been convicted of the murders.
In May, a federal Argentine court reviewing a request by Jewish community representatives declared unconstitutional an agreement which the Argentine government signed with Iran to jointly investigate the bombing.
Last year, Argentina’s Congress approved the pact at the government’s request despite angry reactions by the local DAIA Jewish advocacy group and international Jewish groups, which said the move was judicially and morally flawed.
But the Argentine government defended it as a way to break the impasse which prevented legal action against the suspects who Argentina has sought to try, including several Iranian officials and former officials.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this piece failed to mention the Argentine soccer team was photographed holding the banner in 2011. We regret the error.