28 years after the terrorist attack on Amia, Argentina is still stuck at 09:53

Families of victims of the 1994 AMIA bombing mark the anniversary of the attack in 2006. (photo credit: AP/Natacha Pisarenko)

Reflections 28 years after the terrorist attack that took the life of 85 and left injured more than 300, most of them members of the Jewish community of Buenos Aires.

Many times when I look at the clock I see 9:53.

It is something strange, but it happens to me several times that I look at the clock and it indicates that time. Could it be that I have an obsession to know what time it is in the middle of the morning or maybe I look at the clock a lot and remember that time, for obvious reasons.

I really do not know. I just looked and it’s 09:53.

9:53 is the time that the terrorist bomb exploded in the Amia building in the heart of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Once I heard one of the relatives of the victims of the amia attack say “on 07/18/1994 at 09:53 the clock stopped, it stopped forever”. I understand what it means, the before and after of a loved one taken away by terrorism, by an explosion at that time, 09:53.

I have no relatives who were victims of the attack on the Amia but in some sense, I look at that clock and it also says 09:53. Many times I tried to explain why it happens to me, but I did not find an answer.

Perhaps it is because of the number of times I went to acts of commemoration of the attack, that this specific hour was impregnated in my unconscious and my mind registers it more frequently than others, honestly, I don’t know.

Looking at it from afar, I think it will remain 09:53 for many years to come. Unfortunately, 09:53 is a symbol. It will remain 09:53 as long as responsible Iranian officials continue to enjoy their lives in peace.

It will continue to be 09:53 while the relatives of the victims must continue to tolerate the political manipulation of the investigation.

It is still 09:53 because Argentina is stuck at that time. The 09:53 terrorist attack on AMIA was the prelude to many more tragedies that occurred and continue to occur in Argentina, as a result of successive ill-intentioned and ineffective governments.

Sadly, Argentina is stuck at 09:53.

About the Author
Matias Sakkal is a lawyer specialized in international law and the Director of Con Israel y por la paz a public diplomacy project for the Spanish-speaking world.
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