As hate crimes against Jews increase around the world, many are seeing wondering if the incidents mirror those of the early 1930s. Monday, Argentina’s chief rabbi was brutally beaten in his home in the latest anti-Semitic attack.
Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich was hospitalized with “serious injuries” according to the AMIA Jewish Community Center.
The statement said the rabbi was “beaten and savagely attacked by a group of strangers who entered his house,” at 2 o’clock in the morning.
Local reports say the intruders tied up Rabbi Davidovich’s wife and stole money and valuables before fleeing the scene. The attackers also reportedly yelled “We know you are AMIA’s rabbi,” while beating him.
La Nacion reports that he suffered severely fractured ribs and a punctured lung.
World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer said the attack was “disturbing and worrisome.”
“It is not yet clear whether this was a targeted crime of hateful anti-Semitism 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,” Singer said in a statement.
Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett called the attack anti-Semitic and urged world leaders to protect their Jewish communities.
“Today the leaders of the world in Europe, in South America, all over are failing in their responsibility to learn the lessons of the past,” said Bennett. “But unlike the past, today we have Israel, and every Jew around the world must know they have a home here, we are waiting.”
“But for Jews who want to live in Argentina, or France, or England, or the US or anywhere, we are also here. We will stand up against anti-Semitism. A strong Israel is the only answer – our enemies should know, Jewish blood is not cheap,” he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also condemned the attack and sent wishes for “a quick recovery.”
La Nacion reports that local authorities are investigating the attack as a hate crime.
Argentina is thought to still serve as a haven for Nazi sympathizers who escaped there just after the end of WWII.