Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Chávez and anti-Semitism

A few days ago, a synagogue in Caracas was desecrated. I tend to be very cautious about stating who may have been the culprit. Most likely in this case those who did it were some of the lose bands of pro-Chavez who try to be more Chavista than Chavez. I think high ranking Chavismo had little to gain from this, but they keep enticing their followers to attack everything that can be associated with the opposition in the most global terms. Some extreme opponents of Chavez could theoretically have done it to blame it on Chavez - there is everything in both "sides" if we really consider there are two sides only in Venezuela -. Still, I do not think that is likely: it would be strange the government would done such a sloppy work in trying to follow up the case (see Daniel's post). They are sloppy, but not that much (they did not even take finger prints on their first visit). They were not really very interested in finding out what happened there.

Still, it is a fact the government of Chavez is clearly anti-Semitic. It says it is not, "it simply opposes Israel's crimes". Well, boy, one can be very critical of any group, but what Chavismo is doing is over the top and way beyond criticism. I, for instance, like a lot of people, also within Israel, think Israel should stop immediately any further expansion of settlements in the occupied territories and one day it must pull back from there (under conditions). Israel should obey the UN resolutions calling for the end to settlements in Palestine. Still, the Palestinians are responsible for a lot of the mess in the area and whatever wrong the governments of Israel have been doing, they were not the one who caused 11 September.

Isn't that obvious? Well, it seems not to some. As you can see from Daniel's report, there is a lot of blatant antisemitism in pro-Chavez sites: there is talk there of "not buying Jew" (wo habe ich das noch gelesen?)*. And there is a lot not just from those places. I took the following picture from a governmental office in Venezuela. It is very blurred because I took it in a rush, I did not want to call attention on me. Still, if you focus, you can read: "Peace for the Middle East, no to Zionist terrorism, 11 September". That is an official poster of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

That is what the Venezuelan government thinks. And then they wonder why people consider them anti-Semitic.

* later they took the article off, probably after reading Daniel's post, but those things keep coming time after time


Robert Fisk gives a good reporting on the Middle East. I would recommend reading his book The Great War on Civilization and then reading some of his critics (but always read sources on either side fully)

Some words by Ehud Olmert about the Israeli settlers here (Haaretz)

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