Anti-Semitism in Venezuela?

A disturbing clip from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:

Chavez makes anti-Semitic slur
Venezuela’s president said in his Christmas speech that “the descendants of those who crucified Christ” own the riches of the world.

“The world offers riches to all. However, minorities such as the descendants of those who crucified Christ” have become “the owners of the riches of the world,” Chavez said Dec. 24 on a visit to a rehabilitation center in the Venezuelan countryside. (JTA, Dec. 30)

Ironically, an account of his speech in FrontPageMag, FreeRepublic and the conservative Hispanic Center for Economic Research (HACER) (“A Perilous Hanukkah with Hugo—Venezuela’s socialist strongman demonizes the Jews,” Dec. 28) indicates that he likely meant the spiritual descendants of the christ-killers, i.e. the capitalists, not the Jews:

Celebrating on December 24, Chavez said ‘Christmas is a rebellious, revolutionary, socialist Christ [sic] …the descendants of those who crucified Christ have taken ownership of the riches of the world, and they have concentrated it in a small number of hands.” Chavez said he was “decided” to change history, and he said that every day, he is joined by a “greater quantity of Chiefs of State and leaders in that struggle.” Among those are Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with whom Chavez recently met. On December 14, Ahmadinejad described the Holocaust as “a myth,” months after he suggested that Israel should be “wiped off the map.”

It is also likely that the other chief of state Chavez had foremost in mind was Bolivia’s newly-elected Evo Morales, not the buffoonish Ahmadinejad (who HACER, of course, prominently features in a photo with the Venezuelan leader). We also question the accuracy of both JTA’s and FrontPageMag’s translations, as they don’t quite match and the latter seems awkward at best. However, the FrontPageMag account also mentions this, which seems a little ominous (even if it is over a year old now):

First, they scared the children

In November of 2004, at 6:30 am, around twenty police officers arrived at the Club Hebraica in Caracas, which includes a Jewish school. “More than 1,500 students were at school when the raid started,” said Daniel Snimack, president of the Hebrew community in Caracas. According to reports, the raid was ordered after authorities believed that a device used in a recent car bombing had been designed by Israelis. The raid also coincided with a visit to Chavez in Iran. During the raid, the police found nothing, but the Jewish community was “consternated and alarmed.” Despite their outcry, there was little international reaction to the event.

We do remember the car-bombing in question (of state prosecutor Danilo Anderson), and the rumors at the time of the Venezuelan opposition recruiting Israeli commandos. (See WW4R #105) But the raid on the Club Hebraica seems to have won little coverage…

See our last post on Venezuela.

  1. Looks like anti-Semitism to me
    indicates that he likely meant the spiritual descendants of the christ-killers, i.e. the capitalists, not the Jews

    I don’t see anything in either translation to suggest such a reading. If he meant “spiritual descendants”, why didn’t he say so? And why would he mention “minorities”? In the context of the other events mentioned, and his recent meeting with Ahmadinejad, I think we should assume that Chavez has decided to embrace the socialism of fools until we have strong indications otherwise.

    Plus, it should be remembered that Chavez owes some of his ideas to an Argentine anti-Semite named Norberto Ceresole.

    1. translation of relevant passage
      “The world has enough for everyone, then, but it turns out that some minorities, the descendants of the same ones who crucified Christ, the descendants of the same ones who threw Bolivar out of here and also crucified him in their own way in Santa Marta, over there in Colombia. A minority seized ownership of the wealth of the world, a minority seized ownership of the gold of the planet, of the silver, of the minerals, of the waters, of the good lands, the oil, of the wealth, basically, and the riches have been concentrated in few hands: less than 10% of the population of the world owns more than half the riches of the whole world….” (Trans: Weekly News Update on the Americas

      1. Jews aided Bolivar
        “At the turn of the nineteenth century, the Jews of Curaçao became involved with Simon Bolivar and his fight for the independence of Venezuela and Colombia from their Spanish colonizers. Two Jewish men from Curaçao distinguished themselves in Simon Bolivar’s army, while another supplied moral and material support to Bolivar, as well as refuge for him and his family.”

      2. Faurisson on Chavez
        There is just enough ambiguity in the passage that we can’t be sure if he means the Jews or the rich. I certainly don’t get the reference to Santa Marta—which is where Bolivar died of tuberculosis while waiting to depart for exile in Europe. Possibly a reference to the rival generals and elites who unseated him? But Googling for Norberto Ceresole I came across this unsavory tidbit, from a Holocaust-denial website:

        After Kurt Waldheim and Franjo Tudjman, Hugo Chávez?

        by Robert Faurisson

        5 October 1999

        Hugo Chávez, a former paratrooper of American Indian extraction, nicknamed “the putschist of the poor”, is president of the Republic of Venezuela. He can expect trouble in his relations with the United States and with a good number of other countries whose governments are careful to heed the World Jewish Congress’s every demand.

        The shot in this case, as in so many others, has been fired in Germany, whose mainstream media in general and the weekly Der Spiegel in particular zealously transmit the Jewish lobby’s edicts.

        In its recent issue number 39 (27 September 1999, p. 224, 226, 228), the German magazine, in a piece by Carlos Widmann, states that Chávez, in his speeches, often quotes Clausewitz, Nietzsche, Carl Schmidt, and Karl Haushofer but that the quotations in question originate from the works of the Argentine writer Norberto Ceresole. The latter some years ago aroused the wrath of his country’s Jewish community a fact left unmentioned by Der Spiegel with his criticisms of the state of Israel, and has since had to seek refuge in Spain. N. Ceresole is also guilty of an unpardonable crime denounced by the journalist:

        Among those whose example Ceresole claims to emulate is the Frenchman Robert Faurisson, a “negationist” or denier of the Holocaust who is well-known to the criminal courts (Zu den Vorbildern, auf die Ceresole sich beruft, gehört der Franzose Robert Faurisson ein gerichtnotorischer “Negationist”, also Holocaust-Leugner).

        Hugo Chávez, president of the Republic of Venezuela, may soon have to bow low to the Jews, as others before him have been obliged to do, namely the former Austrian president Kurt Waldheim and Franjo Tudjman, president of Croatia and author of a revisionist book published in 1988 under a title which, in Serbo-Croatian, means The Erring Ways of Historical Truth.

        So: are all of Chavez’ leftist admirers going to at least grapple with this disturbing stuff? Or are we crypto-neocons for even bringing it up?

        1. Chavez and Ceresole
          Note the Venezuelan FM said Chavez “rejects [Ceresole’s] anti- Semitism.”

          6 September 1999

          Most alarming to many are Chavez’s contacts with Norberto Ceresole, a shadowy, anti-Semitic ideologue and author from Argentina tied to the “painted faces” commandos – Argentine extremists who attempted several armed uprisings a decade ago. They later formed a rightist fringe party whose members are under investigation on suspicion of helping Middle Eastern terrorists bomb a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994, killing 86 people.

          Ceresole accompanied Chavez in the mid-1990s when the future president roamed Venezuela sowing the seeds of his upstart political coalition, according to Foreign Minister Jose Vicente Rangel.

          Authorities ejected Ceresole from Venezuela in 1995, but he returned after Chavez became president. Opposition leaders accused Ceresole of acting as a secret adviser to the president, and the Argentine again left Venezuela. Ceresole praises the Chavez government as his ideal of a nationalist, “post-democratic” Latin American regime.

          Chavez has not expressed intolerant attitudes, and the president’s defenders say Ceresole was not an adviser. The president admits a friendship with Ceresole, said Rangel, but he rejects his anti- Semitism. […]

          1. US State Dept. on Chavez & anti-Semitism
            The country is a historically open society without significant anti-Semitism; however, the Government and its supporters occasionally demonstrated possible anti-Semitism. In December 2004, during the Second Bolivarian Congress, placards signed by the government political party MVR (Movement for a Fifth Republic) and the Venezuelan Communist Party, among other groups, were placed in front of the area where the congress took place. Some placards carried statements accusing Israel of having terrorist commandos in the country.

            In November 2004, after the assassination of well-known prosecutor Danilo Anderson, the Government used satirical comments made by journalist Orlando Urdaneta on a U.S. television program to allude to possible Israeli participation in Anderson’s killing. The Israeli Embassy in Caracas denied any Israeli involvement in the assassination and warned that such representations by the Government were misleading. On November 29, 2004, members of the country’s investigative police searched the Hebrew Center of Caracas at the beginning of the school day as part of the Anderson investigation. Jewish community leaders expressed outrage and indicated doubt regarding the authorities’ explanation for the search. Newspaper reports suggested that rumors of Israeli involvement in the assassination might have been behind the investigation.

            In August 2004, several incidents of anti-Semitism occurred during the time of the presidential referendum. The pro-government daily newspaper VEA published an article containing accusations that Jewish leaders in the country had participated in the 2002 coup against the Government. During a political rally, graffiti labeling Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon an assassin and condemning the Zionist movement was painted on a Caracas synagogue. A few days after his electoral victory, President Chavez gave a speech in which he compared the opposition to “wandering Jews.”

            Statements by senior government officials supporting Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Islamic extremist movements raised tensions and intimidated the country’s Jewish community. There were several reports of anti-Semitic graffiti at synagogues in Caracas and two reported threatening phone calls made to Jewish community centers. In August, President Chavez cautioned citizens against following the lead of Jewish citizens in the effort to overturn his referendum victory. Anti-Semitic leaflets also were available to the public in an Interior and Justice Ministry office waiting room.

            1. Jews Dismiss Charges of Anti-Semitism in Venezuela
              From the Venezuelan embassy website:

              Jews Dismiss Charges of Anti-Semitism in Venezuela

              El Universal
              November 9, 2005

              In Venezuela there is no anti-Semitism, and nor have there been any attacks on the Jewish community by the State, said David Bachenheimer, Secretary General of the Confederation of Jewish Associations of Venezuela (CAIV).

              Henri Sobel, leader of a Jewish congregation in Sao Paulo, declared that the Venezuelan Jewish community was living in a precarious situation due to anti-Semitic positions taken by the government of president Hugo Chavez during a meeting last week with U.S. president George W. Bush.

              Bachenheimer explained that the CAIV was surprised by Rabbi Sobel’s statement as he had never asked the Venezuelan Jewish community whether or not it had been victimized or persecuted.

              Bachenheimer went on to say that in Venezuela there have been no problems of anti-Semitic or racist attacks and the government has always acted quickly when isolated incidents of racial or religious intolerance occur. He added that the Jewish community has never been the target of policies or campaigns against it.

        2. Chávez, Carl Schmidt, et al
          “Chávez, in his speeches, often quotes Clausewitz, Nietzsche, Carl Schmidt…”

          “So: are all of Chavez’ leftist admirers going to at least grapple with this disturbing stuff? Or are we crypto-neocons for even bringing it up?”

          Carl Schmidt was also a strong influence on Leo Strauss, the political philosopher who deserves a lot of credit for the authoritarian tendencies (and several other traits) in neoconservatism. Just point out the common philosophical heritage of Chávez and Bush, problem solved.

  2. Who is a Semite?
    It might be worth remembering that the counterfeit-“Jewish” state of Israel doesn’t really consist of many racial Semites, but the vast majority are of Eastern Khazar / Ashkenazim descent, who have taken the titles of “Jews” and “Israel” (fraudulently) and have efficiently abused these names.

    Revelation 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and [I know] the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are NOT, but [are] (Idumeans) the synagogue of Satan.

    Peace be upon you,


    1. Spare us the wacko bunk, thank you
      Even if Arthur Koestler was right and the Ashkenazim trace their origins to the Khazars, use of words like “counterfeit” and “fraudulent” are way, way inappropriate. The Ashkenazim are still Jews, unless you buy into Nazi “racial” theories. Their liturgical language (and in Israel their common language) is a Semitic one, Hebrew. And Ashkenazim are no longer the “vast majority” in Israel. The majority of Israeli Jews are today, in fact, Sephardim (Mizrahi)—who are “Semitic” even by the most vulgar “racial” designation.

      Peace be upon you too. But please wake the fuck up.

      1. Khazar connection

        Personally, I am a bit tired of this ridiculous “descendent of the Khazars” argument, which has been proven time and time again to be irrelevant and false. As if all Jews in Israel today have family trees that trace back to the Khazar Empire and nothing else! Before you try to use that myth, have your Arab breathren give the land back to the Sephardic Jews who were exiled following 1948. Then you’ll have only Ashkenazim. Not that it will make much difference, since DNA tests have shown that there is a high frequency of Semitic roots in Ashkenazi Jewry

  3. Important new information from Forward on this:

    “…Both the AJCommittee and the American Jewish Congress seconded the Venezuelan community’s view that Chavez’s comments were not aimed at Jews. All three groups said he was aiming his barbs at the white oligarchy that has dominated the region since the colonial era, pointing to his reference to Bolivar as the clearest evidence of his intent.”…

    1. Bartholomew
      Thanks for that. I see you posted about this at your very interesting blog.

      And that you noted “That’s a very serious allegation – it would mean that some American Jewish groups are willing to cry wolf for the benefit of Bush. Just how would that be anything other than a complete betrayal of the cause of fighting anti-Semitism?”

      That the Weisenthal Center would be shilling for the Bush regime rather than being motivated by, and in fact completely ignoring the needs of the local Venezuelan Jewish community is unsurprising. It would be far from the first time one of the self-appointed anti-Semitism watchdogs cried wolf to serve the interests of one or another odious master. For instance, the ADL spied on the anti-Zionist and anti-Apartheid activist Jeffrey Blankfort on behalf the the Apartheid regime in South Africa, and indeed had to pay him a hefty sum in a court settlement.

      The following is from Wikipedia: Abe Foxman, ADL’s national director, explained to the Northern California Jewish Bulletin, May 8, 1993: “At the time we exposed the ANC, they were communist. They were violent, they were anti-Semitic, they were pro-PLO, and they were anti-Israel. You’re going to tell me I don’t have the legitimacy to find out who they were consorting with, who their buddies are, who supports whom?

      1. Not so simple
        For starters, finish the sentence you left hanging in your third paragraph. “That the Weisenthal Center would be shilling for the Bush regime rather than being motivated by” WHAT? Genuine concern with anti-Semitism, presumably.

        The problem with this line of reasoning is that it is predicated on two assumptions. First, that Chavez’s comments weren’t anti-Semitic (I say the jury is still out, especially as the Venezuelan embassy has not replied to our query). Second, that the Weisenthal Center did not honestly interpret the comments as anti-Semitic, whether they were intended that way or not. Even if they are being paranoid, that isn’t the same as being cynical.

        I do not believe that Venezuela’s Jews are intimidated. There is a lively, vocal, organized and very wealthy and powerful opposition in Venezuela. To the extent that there has been political terror in Chavez’s Venezuela, it has been almost entirely the work not of the regime, but of the right-wing opposition, acting through Colombian paramilitary proxies. The targets have been overwhelmingly campesinos who have challenged big landowners under the agrarian reform law. So it is completely improbable that the Confederation of Jewish Associations of Venezuela is just parroting the government line out of fear, and it is heartening that they have repudiated the charge of anti-Semitism. However, Chavez badly needs to publicly address this flap. He has not yet done so.

        1. What I was referring to
          Look again at what I wrote. I meant, not motivated by the needs of the local Venezuelan Jewish community. Their needs were ignored at the expense of the Weisenthal Center’s promoting its own agenda, whatever its motivations are, and they strike me as cynical and dishonest. They omitted the quote about Bolivar in their press release.
          So how can one say they are honest about interpreting Chavez’ comments?

          Chavez answered:

          Venezuela’s Chavez says not anti-Semitic

          Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez denies allegations he is anti-Semitic, claims charges part of ‘imperialist campaign’

          Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez on Friday rejected as propaganda charges by the Simon Wiesenthal Center that he made anti-Semitic remarks during a nationally broadcast Christmas speech last month.

          Earlier this month the Wiesenthal Center accused Chavez of anti-Semitism demanded an apology because it said Chavez had related the Jewish people to the killing of Jesus Christ and associated them with wealth, both traditional anti-Semitic claims.

          Chavez, a socialist ally of Cuba and fierce critic of what he brands Washington’s imperialist policies, did not mention the Jewish people in his December speech and had also referred to the betrayal of Venezuelan liberation hero Simon Bolivar.

          ‘Never anti-Semitic’

          “Anti-liberal I am, anti-imperialist even more so, but anti-Semitic, never, that’s a lie,” Chavez said addressing the parliament. “It’s part of a imperialist campaign, I am sure.”

          Since he survived a 2002 coup, Chavez has often accused the U.S. government of trying to overthrow him. Washington counters that he has become a negative influence in South America.

          In a televised Christmas Eve speech, Chavez, a former soldier, referred broadly to “minorities, descendants of those who crucified Christ” and those who had “grabbed all the wealth.”

          The influential Simon Wiesenthal Center promotes tolerance and confronts issues like racism and anti-Semitism and also deals with the prosecution of Nazi war criminals, neo-Nazism, and hate on the Internet.

          Speaking to the National Assembly on Friday, Chavez also sent his regards to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

          (01.15.06, 16:15)

          Rabbi Hier of the Weisenthal Center rejects Chavez’ allegations as “preposterous.” (AP, Jan. 13) He also said the center stood by its statement about Chavez’s December remarks.

          “Anyone seeing those words and knowing the history of anti-Semitism would immediately say that the president of Venezuela is talking about Jews,” Hier told Reuters by telephone. “Are those words anti-Semitic? Yes they are.” (Reuters, Jan. 15)

          Note this is the third time that the Wiesenthal Center had publicly criticised Chavez without first consulting the local community:

          US NeoCons Accuse Chavez of AntiSemitism
          Inter Press News Service
          Jan. 13

          Despite objections by major Jewish organisations in Venezuela and the United States, some influential U.S. neo-conservatives are charging President Hugo Chavez with anti-Semitism, which they say is consistent with the country’s friendly relations with Iran.

          Jim Lobe


          In what appears to be a new line of attack against the populist leader, two of the White House’s favourite publications this week ran articles denouncing remarks made by Chavez in a televised address to the nation Christmas Eve as anti-Semitic.

          Quoting Chavez as declaring that “minorities, the descendants of those who crucified Christ, have taken over the riches of the world”, the Wall Street Journal’s “Americas” columnist, Mary Anastasia O’Grady, charged that his words constituted an “ugly anti-Semitic swipe that was of a piece with an insidious assault over the past several years on the country’s Jewish community”.

          Her column, entitled “The New Tehran-Caracas Axis”, came in the wake of another article published Thursday in the neo-conservative Weekly Standard that also focused on Chavez’ Christmas Eve broadcast as evidence, along with his “alliance” with Iran, of anti-Jewish animus.

          “On Christmas Eve, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez’s Christian-Socialist cant drifted into anti-Semitism,” began the article, titled “Blast from the Past: Hugo Chavez Veers into anti-Semitism while explaining how to create a workers’ paradise,” by Aaron Mannes, author of the “TerrorBlog” and a book on Middle East terrorism published by the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs.

          To his credit, Mannes’ rendition of Chavez’ remarks included a phrase in the middle of the sentence that was omitted by O’Grady, which identified “the descendants” not only as those “that crucified Christ”, but also “the descendants of the same ones that kicked (South American liberator Simon) Bolivar out of here and also crucified him in their own way over there in Santa Marta, in Colombia…”

          As additional evidence of Chavez’ anti-Semitism, Mannes cited his past association with “Holocaust-denying Argentine social scientist Norberto Ceresole”, his praise of imprisoned terrorist Illich Ramirez Sanchez, better known as the retired terrorist “Carlos the Jackal”, and his meetings with former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Mannes also cited Chavez’ “alliance” with the Islamic Republic of Iran and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel’s destruction.

          Nor was this the first time that the Weekly Standard, which, along with the Journal, has depicted Chavez as a dangerous demagogue inimical to U.S. interests in South America and beyond, has charged the Venezuelan leader with anti-Semitism.

          In another article last August, for example, it wrote that “(h)ostility to Jews has become one of the hallmarks of the Venezuelan government” under Chavez… and of Chavismo, the neo-fascist ideology named for him”.

          The article pointed in particular to a raid carried out on the “Hebraica” Jewish elementary school in Caracas in November 2004 by police commandos who were allegedly searching for weapons linked to the bombing that killed a local prosecutor, amid rumours that the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad may have equipped the perpetrators.

          “The Hebraica raid was not an isolated or random act of state-sponsored anti-Jewish violence,” wrote the Standard’s Thor Halvorssen, president of a New York-based group called the Human Rights Foundation, who noted that the raid coincided with Chavez’ visit to Teheran. As O’Grady wrote Friday, the raid was “a way to show Tehran that Venezuela is on board”.

          What is remarkable, however, is that the charge of anti-Semitism, which recalls remarkably similar accusations by the Reagan administration, neo-conservatives, and the Wall Street Journal against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government 20 years ago, does not appear to be shared either by close observers of Venezuelan politics here, nor by some prominent U.S. Jewish organisations or even by the leadership of the Jewish community in Venezuela.

          “Chavez has a lot of rage,” noted Michael Shifter, an influential and oft-quoted Andean specialist and vice-president of the Inter-American Dialogue, who has been outspoken in his criticism of the Venezuelan leadership, “but it hasn’t been driven toward Jews in particular.”

          The Hebraica raid was ordered by a local judge acting on his own initiative without the approval or direction of the central government, according to Shifter.

          As to the anti-Semitic interpretation of Chavez’ Christmas Eve remarks by O’Grady and Mannes, who in fact were echoing a formal protest to Caracas last week by the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre, it was explicitly rejected by Fred Pressner, president of the Confederation of Jewish Associations of Venezuela (CAIV), as well as two major U.S. Jewish groups.

          “You have interfered in the political status, in the security, and in the well-being of our community,” according to a draft letter from the CIAV to the Wiesenthal Centre obtained by The Forward, the largest-circulation Jewish newspaper in the United States. “You have acted on your own, without consulting us, on issues that you don’t know or understand.”

          “We believe the president was not talking about Jews and that the Jewish world must learn to work together,” according to the draft letter, which noted that the latest protest was the third time that the Wiesenthal Center had publicly criticised Chavez without first consulting the local community.

          The two U.S. groups — the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress, both of which have Latin America divisions — echoed Pressner’s contention that Chavez’ comments, when considered in their full context, including sentences that both preceded and followed the (already-abridged) sentence quoted by O’Grady and Mannes, were not aimed at Jews.

          Rather, they believe the target was the white oligarchy that has dominated Venezuela’s and South America’s economy since colonial times — a theme that has dominated much of Chavez’ political rhetoric for the past seven years.

          Whether that will make any difference in the public or internal administration debate over U.S. policy towards Chavez is doubtful, however, as both the Journal and the Standard reach a much wider audience than The Forward and are particularly influential in key administration offices, notably that of Vice President Dick Cheney. The New York Times has reported that the White House receives 50 copies of the Standard, which is edited by William Kristol.

          Ironically, Kristol’s father, Irving Kristol, and the Journal’s editorial page to which he contributed, led a public campaign to discredit Argentine publisher Jacobo Timerman when he emerged in 1980 from two-and-a-half years of imprisonment in secret prisons in Argentina claiming that Jews like himself had been systematically singled out for the worst treatment and torture by a military regime whose ideology was as close to Nazism as any since World War II.

          Unlike Venezuela today, Argentina was then seen by the incoming Ronald Reagan administration (1981-1989) and its neo-conservative backers as a vital Cold-War ally.

          That the Weisenthal Center omitted parts of Chavez’ comments, ignored the objections of two major American Jewish organizations, and that of the Venezuelan Jewish community, and have three times ignored seeking their consul, and have dismissed Chavez’ denial, in conjunction with simultaneous attacks by the Wall Street Journal, FrontPagemag, and the Weekly Standard, makes a pretty convincing case to me that they are acting out of cynicism and have a political agenda.

          1. How are you counting three?
            Is there any indication the Venezeulan Jews were similarly miffed at protests over the Hebraica School raid? And what is your third incident?

            1. Not my count
              From the Lobe article I posted above:

              “We believe the president was not talking about Jews and that the Jewish world must learn to work together,” according to the draft letter, which noted that the latest protest was the third time that the Wiesenthal Center had publicly criticised Chavez without first consulting the local community.

              Note that this article was published after the Hebraica School raid took place:

              1. Yes…
                more than a year after the Hebraica school raid, which was in November of 2004. But it is still unclear what the other two incidents in question are. Even if we can assume the Hebraica raid was one, what was the third?

                1. No idea
                  It was a quote from the Venezuelan Jewish community in the Lobe article. There’s no reason to assume they’re not telling the truth, and that there have been three incidents.

                  This is from the Weekly Standard:

                  Predictably, the storming of Hebraica turned up nothing and the police publicly acknowledged that the search had been “unfruitful.” Of course, the raid was fruitful insofar as it sent a message to the Jewish community. Venezuela’s chief rabbi denounced the raid’s “economy of intimidation,” noting that “there is not a single Jewish family in Caracas that was not affected. Many of us have children in the school, grandchildren, great-grandchildren–or friends. An attack on the school is the most effective way of jolting the entire Jewish population.”

  4. Life’s little ironies
    Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) has a commentary that seeks to exonerate Chavez perhaps too completely, but does contain this irresistible tidbit:

    Jim Lobe of Inter Press Service (1/13/06) pointed out the irony of conservative outlets like the Wall Street Journal and the Daily Standard, edited by William Kristol, promoting dubious accusations of anti-Semitism in Latin America:

    Kristol’s father, Irving Kristol, and the Journal’s editorial page to which he contributed, led a public campaign to discredit Argentine publisher Jacobo Timerman when he emerged in 1980 from two-and-a-half years of imprisonment in secret prisons in Argentina claiming that Jews like himself had been systematically singled out for the worst treatment and torture by a military regime whose ideology was as close to Nazism as any since World War II.

    Lobe pointed out the difference between Chavez’s Venezuela and Argentina under military dictatorship: “Unlike Venezuela today, Argentina was then seen by the incoming Ronald Reagan administration (1981-1989) and its neo-conservative backers as a vital Cold-War ally.” Surely anti-Semitism is a problem that deserves to be treated seriously, and not used as a pretense to bash official enemies.

  5. The Roque Dalton connection
    Our reader David Wilson of Weekly News Update on the Americas seems to have found the original source for the controversial Chavez quote—from the late Salvadoran poet and revolutionary Roque Dalton. Writes Wilson: “It’s hard to believe Dalton meant that the people who ‘nos dicen que Cristo es la Ăşnica esperanza’ are Jews. Sounds much more like the Christians, doesn’t it?”

    “Cuando la revoluciĂłn social comienza a
    desplegar sus banderas
    l@s hereder@s de quienes crucificaron a Cristo
    nos dicen que Cristo es la Ăşnica esperanza
    y precisamente porque nos espera allá en su
    Reino, que no es de este mundo.
    Esta es la religión que fue señalada por Marx
    como “opio de los pueblos”
    ya que en esa forma es una droga más para tupir
    la cabeza de los hombres
    [y de las mujeres]
    e impedirles encontrar su camino en la lucha

    —Roque Dalton (Dos Religiones)

    “When social revolution begins to unfurl its flags
    the heirs of those who crucified Christ
    tell us Christ is the only hope
    precisely because he waits for us
    there in his kingdom, that is not of this world.

    This is the religion pointed to by Marx
    As “the opium of the people”
    since in that form it’s more a drug for
    confusing the heads of men
    [also women]
    and hindering them from finding their calling in
    the social struggle.”
    —Roque Dalton (Two Religions)