Pope Francis demands justice for 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing

Pope Francis. Credit: Casa Rosada via Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) In a video message to Argentine Jewish leaders on the 20th anniversary of the 1994 bombing attack on the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Pope Francis demanded justice for the victims of the attack, which Argentine authorities blame on Iran. 

“Terrorism is lunacy. Terrorism’s only purpose is to kill. It does not build anything, it only destroys,” the pontiff said in a video in Spanish that was recorded at the Vatican by Claudio Epelman, a close friend of Pope Francis and head of the Latin American Jewish Congress. 

“For this reason, I stand side-by-side with all those who have seen lives cut short, hopes destroyed, and ruin. I have said that Buenos Aires is a city that needs to cry, that still hasn’t cried enough. Even if it is commonplace, I repeat: We need to cry,” Francis said, adding, “May justice be done!”

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder thanked Pope Francis for his message.

“This special gesture may be the first time any pope has recorded such a message. We thank Pope Francis for his heartfelt message,” Lauder said.

Iran is widely believed to have carried out the AMIA bombing, which killed 85 people and injured 300.

Posted on July 18, 2014 .