'You Are the Rabbi of the Jews'

Chief Rabbi of Argentina Assaulted in His Home

Unknown individuals broke into Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich's home, beat him and stole things; his wife was present in the house during the attack

The chief rabbi of Argentina, Gabriel Davidovich, was assaulted in his home in the capital of Buenos Aires on Monday, the local community reported.

Unknown individuals broke into his home at 2 A.M., beat Davidovich and told him: "We know that you are the rabbi of the Jewish community."

The local Jewish community demanded immediate investigation into the incident. It said that Davidovich suffered severe wounds due the beating and that he is now hospitalized. Davidovich's wife was in the house during the incident, which also included robbery of valuable objects and money. A report has been filed with the Argentinian police. 

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The chief rabbi of Mexico, Shlomo Tawil, spoke to Davidovich when he was in the hospital before he was taken into intensive care. He said that the intruders broke in from the roof and told him, "You are the rabbi of the AMIA [Argentine Israelite Mutual Association]."

The AMIA building was bombed in 1994, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds. The attack is associated with Iran and Hezbollah, but no suspects have been convicted.  

"I can't be 100% sure that it's an anti-Semitic crime, but we are continuously discovering new things about this crime, including the one in the embassy. and there might be a connection," Tawil said. He added that the intruders broke nine of Davidovich's ribs, but didn't touch his wife.

Commenting on the situation of Jews in Mexico, Tawil said the other than desecration of tombs, people are calm and anti-Semitic incidents are not common, although Jews know that they need to be careful. 

The American Jewish Committee issued a statement following the incident, saying: "We are horrified by the assault on Chief Rabbi of Argentina Gabriel Davidovich in his Buenos Aires home. We pray for his recovery and call on Argentine authorities to do everything in their power to bring the perpetrators of this attack swiftly to justice."

A number of Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and election rival Benny Gantz commented on the attack and wished Davidovich a quick recovery.

In his tweet, Netanyahu wrote: "We must not allow anti-Semitism to raise its head. I strongly condemn the latest anti-Semitic incidents and call for the international community to take action."

Gantz tweeted: "We are determined to fight against anti-Semitism raising its head. Jewish blood will not be spilled in vain."

Arye Deri of Shas party said, "Anti-Semitism is raising its head in Europe, the United States, and tonight it raised its deplorable head in Argentina." He called for the Argentinian government to take all measures in order to capture the assailants and protect the Jews of Argentina.

Chairman of the Labor Party, Avi Gabbay, tweeted, "Violent anti-Semitism is raising its head. Best wishes for the chief Rabbi of Argentina and a hug to the community. We are with you in the fight against anti-Semitism in Argentina, France or anywhere else in the world where deplorable people will try to hurt us."

Isaac Herzog, former chairman of the Labor Party tweeted, "We must fight until the end against the human garbage of the kind that hates Jewish people. The Jewish Agency along with the government and Jewish institutions will lead an international effort against this terrible plague that is raising its head."