'65% of Latin American Jewish leaders fear terrorist attacks'

The majority of Latin American Jewish leaders believe that it is possible to live openly as a Jew in their countries.

By JTA
July 2, 2017 17:06
2 minute read.
Rescue workers search for survivors and victims in the rubble of the AMIA building

Rescue workers search for survivors and victims in the rubble left after a powerful car bomb destroyed the Buenos Aires headquarters of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), in this July 18, 1994 file photo. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Sixty-five percent of Latin American Jewish leaders fear that their community could suffer a terrorist attack, a new survey found.

That figure climbs to 90 percent of Argentinean Jewish leaders, whose community already has suffered two terrorist attacks: in 1992 on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, which killed 29 and injured 242; and in 1994 on the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, which killed 84 and injured more than 300.

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The survey by the Latin American Jewish Congress, the regional branch of the WJC, reveals that Jewish leaders feel that their communities are highly probable targets of terrorist attacks but also that it is possible to live openly as Jewish in their countries.

The view of US President Donald Trump on Israel is divided, according to the survey. The Latin American Jewish leaders from 14 countries believe Trump will help with the security of Israel, but will hinder the peace process.

The survey was undertaken for the Latin American Jewish Congress by the Argentinean political consultancy firm Poliarquia Consultores. The opinions of 322 Jewish leaders from 14 countries were surveyed using an online tool.

Some 40 percent of the Latin American Jewish leaders believe that the presidency of Donald Trump will positively affect Israel. Of those, some 67 percent believe that Trump “will help positively with the security of Israel.”  Another 40 percent believe Trump will negatively affect Israel. Of those, some 60 percent believe his administration “will hinder the possibility to reach a peace agreement.”

The findings of the survey were disclosed on Friday evening, but were presented to the World Jewish Congress in New York in April.



A two-state agreement is the solution to possible terror attacks, in the opinion of 82 percent of the religious leaders surveyed.

Another finding of the survey conducted during March of this year reveals that 90 percent of Argentinean Jewish leaders fears that their community could suffer terrorist attacks, this fear drops to 52 percent in the responses made by leaders of the rest of Latin America without Argentina, a country who has suffered terrorist attacks. The regional average of fear of an upcoming terrorist attack is 65 percent when it includes Argentina and the rest of the region.”

The majority of Latin American Jewish leaders believe that it is possible to live openly as a Jew in their countries, with 17 percent saying they agree ‘very much’ with this idea; and a total of 71 percent of the respondents saying they agree.  Another 11 percent agree somewhat with this idea and 1 percent do not agree.

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