Argentina chief rabbi severely beaten in ‘anti-Semitic’ home invasion

Jewish groups condemn attack after Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich assaulted and wife restrained in Buenos Aires home; attackers shout 'we know you are AMIA's rabbi'

Argentina's Chief Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich. (courtesy AMIA)

Argentina’s chief rabbi was hospitalized in serious condition Monday after being beaten during a home invasion Monday.

The attack on Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Once was condemned by Jewish groups as an anti-Semitic attack.

The attackers, who entered the home of Davidovich in the pre-dawn hours, shouted “We know you are AMIA’s rabbi,” while beating him, according to local press reports.

Davidovich’s wife was restrained and the assailants took money and belongings from the home before fleeing, according to press reports.

He was hospitalized with several fractured ribs and a punctured lung, La Nacion reported. Hebrew-language press accounts reported his condition as “serious.”

AMIA said in a statement that the comments by the attackers were a cause for “alarm.”

“With extreme consternation, [AMIA] … expresses its deep concern,” the group said in a statement.

The DAIA Jewish community political umbrella group called the attack anti-Semitic and urged authorities to take action, linking it to anti-Semitic attacks in Europe.

The local Avoda Labor Zionist group also described the attack as anti-Semitic.

World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer said the singling out of Davidovich as a Jew was “disturbing and worrisome.”

“It is not yet clear whether this was a targeted crime of hateful antisemitism or a barbaric criminal act, but we trust that the authorities will continue to do everything in their power to determine the motive and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

ADL official Sharon Nazarian urged “government authorities to swiftly investigate this heinous assault and call on faith leaders and other officials to condemn this judeophobic hate crime.”

Police were investigating the crime as a robbery, according to La Nacion.

Argentina is home to some 200,000 Jews, most of them in Buenos Aires.

Over the weekend, headstones in a Jewish cemetery in the San Luis section of the capital were vandalized. Officials said it was not clear if the attack was anti-Semitic in nature.

In November, soccer fans in Argentina chanted about “killing the Jews to make soap” during a match with a team historically associated with the Jewish community and rioted when the visitors won.

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