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Is anti-Semitism on the Rise or Decrease in Venezuela?

A Jewish advocacy group in Venezuela is protesting a state-run radio broadcast referencing the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

The Venezuelan Confederation of Israelite Associations filed a formal complaint with the Public Ministry denouncing the broadcast in which journalist Cristina Gonzalez read the anti-Semitic text and suggested listeners should read it:

“Venezuelan Jews know that promoting this anti-Semitic document only sows hate and discrimination, violating the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela…I do not have an anti-Semitic stance, I’m not anti-anything, I read everything that falls my way…”

Salomon Cohen, the confederation president requested a formal investigation into the matter and a meeting with government officials.

Last year, President Hugo Chavez met with Jewish community representatives to discuss what they described as an “incessant barrage of anti-Semitic commentaries” on state-run media. As a positive result, there was a detectable decrease in anti-Semitic rhetoric. Increasing diplomatic signals from the Chavez government explained that relations between the Jewish community and the revolutionary state of Venezuela were improving.

However, Venezuelan anti-Semitism seems to be brewing again among the most radical elements of government supporters as Chavez gets ready for a reelection campaign next year.

The Arab Winter

Characters:
Hugo ChavezVenezuela
Hosni MubarakEgypt
Bashir al-AssadSyria
Muamar el-QadaffiLibya
Mahmoud AhmadinejadIran
Hassan NasrallahHezbollah
Ismayil HaniyahHamas

Chavez, Mubarak, Assad, Qadaffi and Ahmadinejad are sitting around a table in a mysterious location holding a secret meeting.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Allah hu’Ahbar my brothers!

Chorus: Allahu hu’Ahbar!

Hugo Chavez: (smoking a cigar) yes, yes, haha, yes! Allah…haha.

Hosni Mubarak: Ahhh. Why did this happen to me? (groan, groan)

Bashir al-Assad: What is bothering old Hosni?

Muamar el-Qadaffi: Ah, dear boy Bashir. It is the tragic cry of humiliation.

Ahmadinejad: Humiliation! Ha! It is merely humility before Allah!
(rocket explodes in the background)

Mubarak: ahhh! Why! Oh, Allah!

Qadaffi: Hosni has been overthrown by his own people! A throne usurped by its subjects! He put too much trust in Israel and the Americans.

Assad: If this happened to me, my father, Allah bless his soul, would curse my spirit!

Mubarak: Father! Father! My kingdom! My kingdom! Why! Allah! (weeping still)

Ahmadinejad: This will never happen to me, en sh’allah! Those American dogs will never get me! Not with my nuclear arsenal, nor yours Muamar! (turns to Qadaffi) Are not the Americans Zionist dogs?

Qadaffi: (nose begins to bleed) Aye! Dogs indeed! Dogs indeed. But who said anything about a nuclear program?

(Hosni Mubarak gets up and begins to walk around on all fours and bark like a dog)

Ahmadinejad: (looks strangely at Mubarak) The one Nicolas Sarkozy of France built for you.

Qadaffi: (takes off his sunglasses) Oh, yes THAT nuclear program! Now I seem to remember. Hosni! Are you a Muslim? Get off the ground, you are a Muslim not a dog!

Ahmadinejad: Crazy Zionist children of the devil!

Assad: Mubarak, you have lost your mind! You have no idea how to maintain control of your people!
(something explodes in the background)

Qadaffi: This is easy for you to say young Bashir because you have nothing that interests the Americans! They will never assist a coup in your country!

Assad: Nothing? Like what?

Ahmadinejad: Like what? Like oil, that’s what!

Qadaffi: Aye! Oil! Nevertheless, it will never happen to me, hamsa hamsa hamsa.

(something else explodes in the background, goes ignored. The sound of pigs screaming.)

(Mubarak cries, falls on his stomach, begins to weep)

Mubarak: Wh-w-what was THAT?

(Hugo Chavez stands up and begins kissing Assad)

Qadaffi: Chavez, our Catholic friend. Bashir! What are you two doing? Hugo, do you have cigars for everyone?
(Chavez pulls out some cigars)

Assad: (stops kissing Hugo Chavez. Haha. Takes a cigar from Chavez’s hand). I will take the fattest juiciest one of all!)

Ahmadinejad: (Also takes a cigar) No cigar for Mubarak! (looks down at Hosni Mubarak on the floor). You Egyptian child!

Qadaffi: (Also looks at Mubarak) No cigars for you from Uncle Chavez.
(enter Ismayil Haniyeh and Hassan Nasrallah)

Haniyeh: Allah hu-Ahbar.

Nasrallah: Allah hu-Ahbar! Maharba, my brothers!

Chorus: Allah hu-Ahbar. Allah is great. Only Allah!

(all in the room get up from the table and shake the two terrorist leaders’ hands. Mubarak is shaking on the floor. Urin has stained his pants).

Nasrallah: We heard you were having a party so we decided to join!
(Mubarak is coughing and choking on the cigar smoke in the room…he is mumbling something to himself in Hebrew)

Ahmadinejad: (looks at Mubarak) Someone shut this dog up!

(Nasrallah and Haniyeh drag Mubarak and begin beating him. Qadaffi gets a kick in as well. As they do so they take cigars from Hugo Chavez and fire them up).

Mubarak: (crying) Why! Why!

Qadaffi: You are suffering because you trusted those American Zionist dogs!

(something else explodes in the background. The sound of women screaming is heard and sheep crying)

A voice from outside: Open up! It is the Americans! We have you all surrounded!

Ahmadinejad: (proudly smoking his cigar) that’s alright! You cannot stop this Jihad!)

(gets up and begins thrusting his crotch with his hands behind his head, as if dancing to Hip-Hop)

Oh no, no baby no! You cannot stop this Jihad, yo!

(more knocking on the door)

Voices: Open up punks or we’ll smoke this whole complex!

Qadaffi: We are not going anywhere! Let’s all sing a song!

(more banging on the door from outside, the sound of dogs barking, an explosion)

Different Voice: Open up at once! This is the NATO forces!

Assad: What song? (pinches Hugo Chavez’s ass)

Chorus (and Mubarak): (all holding hands and swaying to a familiar Arabic tune)

(A grenade falls into the room…KAPOW!)

The End

Hugo Boss: Despite Attempted Name-Clearing, Venezuela Grows Increasingly Cold to The Jews

Down in Venezuela, President Hugo Chávez has agreed to meet with delegates of the country’s Jewish community for a discussion about antisemitism in the state-run media.

Last June, Mr. Chavez made a public declaration that he believed the Mossad was scheming to assassinate him and that the Israeli government was bankrolling his Venezuelan opposition.

Vice president of the Confederation of Israelite Associations of Venezuela (CAIV), David Bittan Obadia, made the following statement according to the Jewish Chronicle Online in anticipation of the meeting set for September:

“We do not deem [anti-Semitism] a state policy, but the government has the tools to stop it…We will be very straightforward in expressing our concerns. We can see that the government is willing to cooperate…” Stoically he then declared, “This anti-Semitism is troubling us all and it needs to cease immediately.”

According to Jewish journalist Jennifer Lipman:

Anti-Jewish sentiment has been a problem throughout the presidency of Hugo Chavez. In his 12 years in power, the populist leftist leader has made speeches accusing “Semitic banks” of sabotaging the economy and lent his support to an indigenous Islamic group known as “Hizbollah Venezuela.”

In just one isolated instance of antisemitism in the Bolivarian Republic, only days after a public rant in opposition of Israel’s actions in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, in January of 2009, vandals broke into Sephardic synagogue, Tiferet Israel, only a mile from Chávez’s presidential palace in Caracas. Torah scrolls were trashed and spray paint informed the walls of death threats for Jews and the Jewish country.

A member of the Carcas Jewish community predicted that:

“Chavez and his supporters will not give up power, irrespective of the election result, and many members of our community are concerned that if there are disturbances, we will be targeted. When there is anarchy, there are always people who use it to attack Jews.”

She also observed that:

When the mood intensifies, like during the current election campaign, there are politicians who immediately bring out the incitement against the Jews. Is this by order of the president? I don’t know, but the president sees and hears everything in the government-controlled area. Many Jewish families in my area have left or are leaving.

Also, earlier this summer, Chavez met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and called on Latin America and the Arab world to fight together what he deemed “America’s imperialist and capitalist interests abroad.”

Meanwhile, amid delays to negotiate with Syria, due to rumored Israeli reticence, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, IDF Chief of General Staff Lieutenant, General Gabi Ashkenazi, OC Military Intelligence Major General Amos Yadlin and OC Planning Branch Major General Amir Eshel are all giving a stalwart push for peace meetings with the Syrian government – while an effort is being made to stall the sale of weapons to that country from Russian suppliers.

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