Rabbi Shlomo Tawil was beaten by youths shouting anti-Semitic slurs
Rabbi Shlomo Tawil, director of Chabad-Lubavitch in Rosario, Argentina, was recovering at home after being assaulted by three youths on Sunday night during the holiday of Shavuot.
According to neighbors who came to the rabbi’s aid, the attackers shouted anti-Semitic insults at the rabbi, and began hitting him in the head and abdomen. They then threw him to the floor, kicked him and trampled his hat before fleeing.
The attack drew widespread criticism from around Argentina, as the number and level of violence of anti-Semitic incidents there has seen an alarming escalation. Ten days ago, a swastika was spray-painted on a Jewish-owned hair salon in Buenos Aires. Neo-Nazi pamphlets were also distributed in the area near the salon. In another incident, a cantor was attacked while returning home from Shabbat services.
According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, the local representative of the DAIA Jewish political umbrella in Argentina, Gabriel Dobkin told local media Monday that the organization would file a complaint with police in the coming hours. He said that police were working with a city prosecutor to determine If the attack was captured on surveillance cameras and called for a thorough investigation. He called the violence against the rabbi “a fierce, cowardly, antisemitic attack.”
The Jerusalem Post also reported that DAIA and the Jewish community of Rosario said in a joint statement that they “demand from the authorities a total and absolute clarification of this unfortunate event.”
“We hope that these violent people will be definitively eradicated from the Argentine society that has chosen the path of coexistence, peace and justice,” the statement also said.
The president of the local city parliament, Antonio Bonfatti, tweeted Monday that “as a society we cannot allow these acts of violence and intolerance,” and called for “peace and coexistence.”
In February Argentina’s chief rabbi, Gabriel Davidovich, was seriously injured in a brutal attack during a home robbery that is currently believed to be gang-related and not anti-Semitic. Five suspected attackers were arrested in that case.
Rosario, which is located at the heart Argentina’s industrial corridor, has the country’s third-largest Jewish community.
In July of 1994, 85 people were killed and hundreds seriously wounded when the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association building was bombed in Argentina’s deadliest terrorist attack to date. Evidence has emerged that the terror organization Hezbollah may have been behind the deadly blast.
Argentina’s Jewish population of about 180,500 is the largest in Latin America and the third-largest in the Americas, after the United States and Canada.