Jewish NGO calls for probe of Venezuelan anti-Semitic campaign

Article published in digital Venezuelan newspaper provides readers with plans of action against Jews, head of rights group says.

Chavez 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Chavez 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
A Jewish human rights NGO on Friday called upon Jose Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) to take action against the anti-Semitic campaign taking place in Venezuela, one of its member states. "Under the presidency of Hugo Chavez, the Jewish community of Venezuela has suffered repeated attacks, which were, at least tolerated, if not incited or promoted by State officials," the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Marvin Hier wrote in a letter. "This anti-Semitic campaign increased under the pretext of the recent war between Israel and Hamas." In the letter, Heir said that an article entitled "How to Support Palestine Against the Artificial State of Israel?" published in a Venezuelan pro-government, digital newspaper, which was disguised as a pretended "anti-Zionist" campaign, provided readers with a plan of action against the Venezuelan Jewish community. The article gave examples such as confiscating the properties of Jews who support Israel and donating the proceeds to the Palestinians, publicly denouncing members of Jewish groups in Venezuela and boycotting their companies and businesses. The Rabbi wrote that the article promoted the worldwide hacking of "pro-Zionist" websites as well as websites from governments or institutions which have favorable relations with Israel, and convening an international conference on the creation of the "Nazi" state of Israel as a genocidal European colony. "We urge you to establish an OAS special field mission… to immediately investigate the situation…and recommend punitive action against all those who are responsible for this campaign of hatred against the Jewish people," concluded Rabbi Hier. The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).