Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Friday that US backing of Israel is responsible for flaming tensions in the Middle East and putting the world on course toward another "Holocaust." "The fundamental blame falls again on the US empire. It's the empire that armed and supported the abuses of the Israeli elite, which has invaded, abused and defied the United Nations for a long time," Chavez said in a speech during a military act in Caracas. "I'll seize this opportunity to condemn categorically and fully the aggression that the Israeli elite is carrying out against innocents over there in the Middle East," he said. Chavez was referring to the new explosion of Mideast violence this week.