The World Cup has taken sports’ main stage. Millions of fans follow their favorite teams in victory or defeat.
For many Argentinian Jews, the most important goal in Brazil has nothing to do with soccer.
Instead, the community is working to bring a call for justice to the world’s attention. Justice, that is for the 1994 terrorist attack at the Asociation Mutual Israelita Argentina or Jewish Center in Buenos Aires – the AMIA – which killed 85 people and injured hundreds of others.
Argentinian officials always have suspected that the terrorist operation can be connected directly to Iran.
Yet after all of these years, nobody has been brought to justice for the bombing, which happened on July 18,20 years ago.
The World Jewish Congress put together an initiative, called “One minute for AMIA.” It calls for a minute of silence during the World Cup.
Latin American Jews have staged three such demonstrations in Brazil. One was held at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, and another at the Museum of Art in Sao Paulo. Along with the moment of silence, the demonstrations included a reading of victims’ names. Signs and banners say “20 years without justice” and “A red card for lack of justice.” (A red card is given to a soccer player as he is ejected from the game for misconduct.)
Inside the Mineirao Stadium at the Brazilian city Belo Horizonte, a soccer game was going on.
The irony was difficult to miss.
The game’s final score: Argentina 1, Iran 0.
Out in the real world, there still is justice to be done.