|Morton Klein||September 14th 2009|
Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez must be condemned for a venomous speech delivered in Damascus, while on a visit to the Syrian dictatorship, in which he described Israel as “genocidal,” “anti-peace” and implementing “America’s imperialist policies.” Chavez also praised Syria as the “architects and designers of the resistance,” while condemning American and European hegemony and the “unipolar” world order (‘Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez slams Israel during Damascus visit,’ Los Angeles Times, September 4, 2009).
In a subsequent interview in the Italian Le Figaro, Chavez said that, “The question is not whether the Israelis want to exterminate the Palestinians. They’re doing it openly.” He also dismissed Israel’s need to defend itself in its Gaza operation last December and January saying, “What was it if not genocide? ... The Israelis were looking for an excuse to exterminate the Palestinians.” He also said sanctions should have been placed on Israel (‘Venezuela’s Chavez accuses Israel of genocide,’ Reuters, September 9, 2009).
Some examples of Hugo Chavez’s anti-Jewish and anti-Israel words and deeds: One of Chavez’s closest mentors was the deceased Norberto Ceresole, an Argentinean right-wing nationalist and advocate of a post-democratic Latin America, as well as being a Holocaust denier and conspiracy theorist preoccupied with alleged Jewish plans to control the planet. On November 29, 2004, Venezuelan armed police raided the Jewish elementary and high school at the Jewish Cultural Centre in Caracas, an attack that traumatized Venezuela’s 25,000 strong community.
Chavez made an astonishing anti-Semitic outburst in a December 2005 speech, in which he said that, “The world is for all of us, then, but it so happens that a minority, the descendents of the same ones that crucified Christ, the descendents of the same ones that kicked Bolivar out of here and also crucified him in their own way over here in Santa Marta, in Colombia. A minority has taken possession all of the wealth of the world, a minority has taken ownership of all of the gold of the planet, of the silver, of the minerals, the waters, the good lands,oil, of the wealth then and have concentrated the wealth in a few hands.”
In September 2006, the Diario VEA newspaper, carried an article by Basem Tajeldine in which he said, “The Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis was directed to eliminate the social basis of Judaism that believed in assimilation with the Europeans, the low class majority of Jews.The ideological affinity and the great ties of collaboration that existed between German Zionism and Nazism is undeniable. Sionazis is the most appropriate term to catalogue (sic) the organisation of the political capitalist Jewish elite of Israel that is responsible for the present Holocaust of the Arab people.”
A 2006 Anti-Defamation League report, ‘The Chavez Regime: Fostering Anti-Semitism and Supporting Radical Islam,’ showed that a troubling mix of anti-Semitism and support for radical Islam is appearing in Chavez’ Venezuela, as evident in the government-sponsored media and the remarks of academics and government leaders, creating a portrait of a regime that promotes virulently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attitudes.
In September 2006, the pro-Chavez paper, El Diario de Caracas (September 2, 2006), contained an article which claimed that, “Zionists, the destructive sect of radical Jews, are again impregnating the Jewish community with its animosity towards humanity. The genocide they executed in Palestine and Lebanon is similar to the Holocaust which the Nazis executed against them, and they will undergo another Holocaust because of the global hatred they are accumulating. If the Jews have charged the Nazis for their victims, they will have to pay Lebanon for their killings. The Jewish race is condemned to disappear, because if they continue marrying among themselves they will continue to degenerate; if they open their marriages they will racially dilute themselves, so they only recourse is to stay united, to provoke wars, and auto-genocides. Israelis are lying when they say they are the favored people of God; on the contrary, because they are always at war and without their own land, it seems that they are marked for having destroyed Jesus Christ. We should reform the Bible which falsely refers to them as the chosen race by God, and we will act to stop them from manipulating the Jewish community. The United States is trapped by Zionists who control their economy and many critical positions in their government; and we must avoid that this critical situation takes place in Venezuela before they also ruin us, because they can possess any nationality, but first they act as Jews in whatever land they plant themselves ... Let's pay attention of the Israeli-Zionist associations, unions and federations which are conspiring to Venezuela to take over our finances, our industries, commerce, construction; which are infiltrating government positions and politics. Possibly, we'll have to expel them from the country, as other nations have done, which is the reason that Jews remain in a continuous state of stateless exodus, and it is why in 1948 they invaded Palestine, guided by Albion. Will global justice allow the United States, England, and Israel to destroy the Middle East to take over its oil? Only the union of its people will save them. The only way that humanity will reconcile with the Jews is if these renounce their Zionist leadership, which aspires to dominate the world, and if they stop presenting themselves as the Chosen people of God, and when they do so, we will hug them fraternally as equal human beings.”
The Zionist Organization and all right-thinking persons are deeply concerned at Chavez’s international promotion of vile anti-Semitism and demonization of Israel and we call upon the the Obama Administration to condemn his latest outburst. Chavez is not only America’s enemy but, as he makes crystal clear, an enemy of the Jewish people.
The writer is national director of the Zionist Organization of America.