Ambassador to Venezuela recalled in protest

Ambassador to Venezuela Shlomo Cohen flew back to Tel Aviv Tuesday, after being temporarily recalled to protest what the Foreign Ministry called Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's "wild slander" against Israel. Chavez, in an Al-Jazeera interview Friday, called Israel's operation in Lebanon an "unjustified aggression that is being carried out in the style of Hitler, in a Fascist fashion." He said Israel was "doing what Hitler did against the Jews. They are killing innocent children and whole families." On Thursday Chavez recalled his country's charge d'affaires, who was acting ambassador, from Israel to protest the war against Hizbullah. Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman blasted Chavez in a statement, saying he needed a "reality check when it comes to the Middle East conflict." "It is outrageous for him to suggest that Israel, the home of the Jewish people, is behaving like Nazis," Foxman said. "Need we remind Mr. Chavez that the State of Israel, which arose out of the ashes of the Holocaust, once again is fighting to defend itself against an implacable enemy whose goal is the destruction of the Jewish state?" The ADL sent a letter to Chavez saying it was concerned that "statements demonizing Israel and anti-Semitism cloaked in anti-Zionist terms may be used by others to justify violence against Jews, wherever they live, including in your own country of Venezuela."