Argentina, Leo Messi & the Bombing of the AMIA Building

This upcoming Monday July 18th will be the 17th anniversary of terrorist bombing of the AMIA Building in Buenos Aries, Argentina. This horrific attack on the Jewish Community of South America affected many Jews and non-Jews alike as 85 people were murdered and over 300 wounded.

Unfortunately the perpetrators of the crime have yet to be brought to justice. In a case that is a major blight on Argentina and its government, many cover-ups, poor prosecution and no one wanting to take blame have made this national case an embarrassment.

One group of people however, have taken it upon themselves to publicize the event in a hope that the people of Argentina, the other countries of Latin America and the world will remember and never forget what happened to Argentina that day back in 1994.

The Argentinean National Soccer Team led by All Stars Leo Messi and Carlos Tevez have come out in support of remembering and never forgetting the victims of this attack.

In an outpouring of support, the Jewish Community is thrilled to have the likes of Messi and Tevez in their corner, especially during a period of time where much of the soccer world has their eyes on Argentina for the Copa America Tournament.

I believe that this year there is no greater way to commemorate this tragic event than with the icons of the soccer world on one of the biggest stages proclaiming their support in a campaign that we should never forger this fateful day.

There is a general statement that says that politics and sports do not and should not mix. In this case I can not think of a better way to help memorialize the victims and help the world understand this tragedy.

In seeing the picture of the National team in one of the Israeli dailies last week a tear crossed my eye.

How wonderful that these sports celebrities have taken the time out of their training, their tournament and their lives to make a huge statement to the world.

Yes, terrorism will not be tolerated. Even though the Argentinean government has bumbled its way through this case, not wanting to really find and convict those involved, the soccer team has made the statement that will transcend sport and Argentina.

As Leo Messi plies his trade with FC Barcelona, the millions and millions of fans of Messi will now see him in support of the Jewish community of Argentina.

The young boys and girls who love Carlos Tevez around the globe will feel the same way.

With Argentina’s 3-0 victory over Costa Rica, in the final game of group play the team will march on in Copa America. Messi, who put on a terrific performance and company lifted their game and propelled the National Team into the quarterfinals where they will play yet again and face off against even bigger opponents, thus allowing for the team to continue to spread the word of remembrance.

Sometimes sports are the greatest vehicle to get a message of this importance across.

With the soccer community on board, one can hope that their word will spread and help make the world understand that bringing the criminals of this event to justice is crucial to all of mankind; those who shattered lives and murdered innocent people because they were Jewish.

It is with that hope that one day the world will be a better & safer place for all of us, both on and off the soccer pitch.

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