Rabbi attacked on Buenos Aires street by group shouting anti-Semitic slurs
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Rabbi attacked on Buenos Aires street by group shouting anti-Semitic slurs

Eli Chamen suffers a broken hand in assault as he walks home from synagogue on Saturday night, says witnesses laughed as he was beaten

Libertador Avenue in North Palermo, Buenos Aires.(Wikimedia Commons via JTA)
Libertador Avenue in North Palermo, Buenos Aires.(Wikimedia Commons via JTA)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A man wearing a kippah was beaten and subject to anti-Semitic epithets on a street in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The attack took place on Saturday night following services at Mikdash Yosef, an Orthodox synagogue in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires.

Eli Chamen, 34, was violently beaten in the face and heard shouts of “f***ing jews” and other anti-Semitic invective against “the Jews.”

Chamen told local media that other people who witnessed the attack laughed or continued to walk by on the streets in the crowded, upper middle class area near the synagogue.

Chamen, a businessman and father of six, fell to the ground from the force of the attack and broke his hand. He received treatment at a local hospital and later filed a report with the local police and also at the Jewish political umbrella, DAIA.

Nearly two months ago, a homeless couple entered the same synagogue and threatened the worshipers. The synagogue’s rabbi was injured scuffling with the homeless man following Shabbat services.

In February Argentina’s Chief Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich was beaten and seriously injured by a group of up to seven assailants who broke into his Buenos Aires home in the middle of the night. The attackers stole some 200,000 Argentine pesos (roughly $5,000) in cash, as well as valuable jewelry and a Haredi-style black hat.

Davidovich was hospitalized with serious injuries, including nine broken ribs and a punctured lung. The intruders reportedly shouted: “We know you are the rabbi of the Jewish community” during the attack.

The same month, nine gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in San Luis city, in northwest Argentina, were vandalized.

Over the following weeks police arrived five suspects in connection with the assault on Davidovich. The suspects included “Coco,” identified as the head of a local gang that committed multiple home invasions in Buenos Aires in recent months, the Infobay news site reported in April.

Anti-Semitic incidents in Argentina rose by 14 percent in 2017 over the previous year, according to a DAIA report, the most recent national statistics. Online anti-Semitic incidents made up 88 percent of the 2017 total, nearly double the 47 percent in 2014.

Argentina has had an anti-discrimination law on the books since 1988.

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