The Argentinean-Jewish community as scapegoat
Feldstein, Federico Pablo
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In 1994, 89 people are killed and more than 300 are injured in the worst terrorist attack in Argentina's history: the bombing of (Israelite Argentinean Mutual-Aid Association [Asociacion de Mutuales Israelitas Argentinas]) AMIA. Argentinean media avidly covered the event and its repercussions. Drawing on cultural studies and the relationship between news and myth, I analyzed six years of coverage of events related to the bombing of AMIA in two major Argentinean newspapers: Clarin and La Nacion. Through textual analysis of news stories and photos, this study reveals the ways in which the meaning[s] of "the Jewish" is [are] represented and perpetuated in these two newspapers. Argentinean-Jews are consistently portrayed as outsiders, and singled out as the terrorists' only target. A process of symbolic denigration, isolation and expulsion of Argentinean Jews occurs in the coverage as this minority is represented as different from the rest of society, guilty, deserving of punishment, and as a threat to Argentina. This process mirrors the Scapegoat myth in which a society frees itself from its burdens by transferring them to a beast that is later expelled.