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 HugoVenezuela'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.