Posted by: becketfund | March 31, 2009

Venezuela: Jewish Community Faces Governmental Discrimination

In an article in the journal of the Turkish Weekly, a former US Marine captain and two-tour veteran of the Iraq war, relays the governmental and communal pressures he found Jewish communities to be facing in Venezuela. An excerpt from the article follows: “I visited the Beit Shmuel synagogue and saw where a hand grenade exploded on February 26 outside the main entrance, damaging a vehicle and the building’s exterior. I saw the Tifereth Israel synagogue where a highly coordinated and well-equipped team broke through extensive security, spray-painted hate messages throughout the house of worship, desecrated the holy texts in the sanctuary and, most ominously, stole the congregation’s membership information from a locked safe and a desktop computer… Hugo Chavez continues to deny any involvement in these incidents and claims to have no antipathy toward the Jews. Instead, he cunningly offers them a Faustian deal by demanding their support in publicly denouncing Israel for its alleged misdeeds. Yet even these statements clearly promote a climate where anti-Semitism is not only tolerated, but is encouraged by his government.” The Turkish Weekly has the full article.

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