• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Chavez “did not…Speak about Jews” – American Jewish Committee

An update to my December piece on Hugo Chavez, due to new information from the Forward:

“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.”

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