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Hugo Chavez on the Christ-killers’ Riches

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports:

“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.

This comes several weeks after a raid on the Colegio Hebraica, a private Jewish school in Caracas. The reason given for this was purported Mossad involvement in the assassination of State Prosecutor Danilo Anderson. The Weekly Standard (yes, I’d prefer a more progressive source, too, but sadly there isn’t one) gives some wider context:

Hostility to Jews has become one of the hallmarks of the Venezuelan government under Hugo Chávez, the radical populist who became president in 1999, and of Chavismo, the neo-fascist ideology named for him. In January, the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor released a “Report on Global Anti-Semitism.” The report documents how openly anti-Semitic the Venezuelan government now is. Besides the raid on the Jewish school, it noted that “President Chávez 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.”

Chávez first ran for president on a reform platform, winning in a landslide. What few understood then was that Chávez planned to revolutionize the country following a plan masterminded by his longtime friend Norberto Ceresole, an Argentinian writer infamous for his books denying the Holocaust and his conspiracy theories about Jewish plans to control the planet.

It should be noted, however, that Ceresole was later deported due to his anti-Jewish rantings. But Chavez appears to be an impressionable character; his latest comments have come shortly after making a new friend in Iran…

chavez-in-iran

UPADTE: Le Revue Gauche makes the case that Chavez was being quoted out of context; “those who crucified Christ” are supposedly capitalists. See also this discussion at World War 4 Report.

UPDATE 2: The Forward has an article on the subject:

“We believe the president was not talking about Jews and that the Jewish world must learn to work together,” said Fred Pressner, president of the Confederation of Jewish Associations of Venezuela.

…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.

One official noted that Latin America’s so-called Liberation Theology has long depicted Jesus as a socialist and consequently speaks of gentile business elites as “Christ-killers.”

…”It appears to us that Chavez did not intentionally speak about Jews,” said David Twersky, director of the AJCongress’s Council on World Jewry. “I don’t think we should raise the flag of antisemitism when it doesn’t belong.”

4 Responses

  1. What a bummer. I really had no idea about this.

    By the way, when Ahmadinejad talked about moving Israel to Europe, it was one month after a respected American conservative foreign policy thinker publicly said that he had been asked about solving the Middle East situation, and his first choice would be to get in a time machine, go back to 1945 in Bavaria and declare it the Jewish National homeland. It got a chuckle from the audience. It was on C-SPAN in a presentation listed here:

    http://inside.c-spanarchives.org:8080/cspan/cspan.csp?command=dprogram&record=190693694

  2. […] American Jewish Committee Posted on January 13, 2006 by Richard Bartholomew An update to my December piece on Hugo Chavez, due to new information from the Forward: “We believe the president was not […]

  3. […] has been some controversy in the past as to whether Venezuelan statements about international capital are suggestive of anti-Semitism; […]

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