I am very proud of the State of Israel and at the same time I feel saddened that at present there are no formal diplomatic relations between the State of Israel and Venezuela.
I am proud of Israel especially when I remember that as a youngster in Lima Perú and a member of Beitar, I stood guard for one hour when Vladimir Zabotinsky z’l passed away in 1940 next to his photograph draped in black.
I am proud of the State of Israel especially when I remember that in 1948 at Yeshiva University some older students would disappear at night and the reason, we learned, was that they were packing Czechoslovakian armament to be sent to Israel for the battle for Independence.
I am proud of Israel because it opened its doors to Jewish immigrants who through Chok Hashevut obtained the right and privilege of Israeli citizenship. While the outcome of the Second World War was determined by the great powers of that time, the fate of the Jewish people might have been different, surely in the number of victims, had there been then an independent State of Israel.
I am proud of the State of Israel when I recall that in 1976 a mission was sent to Entebbe, Uganda, to rescue the Israeli citizens and Jews who were not Israeli citizens, who were being held hostage by terrorists with the approval of the local authorities. Yonatan Netanyahu z’l tragically fell in this mission that proved that Israel will not permit that Jews be discriminated against, because all other passengers of this Air France flight had been set free. It was a courageous mission that also showed desperation because of the dangers involved in landing in hostile territory in a mission of rescue. I remember that the same kind of airplane crashed while trying to land in stormy weather in the Azores Islands around those days. This aircraft that left no survivors was carrying the choral group of the “Universidad Central de Venezuela” for whom we held a memorial service in my synagogue in Caracas. Contrast the perils of a friendly visit with the temerity of the Israeli mission. Contrast the indifference of the rest of the world, with the attitude of Israel that responded with valor. Because after the Holocaust, Jewish blood can no longer flow freely. Israel is the guarantor.
I am proud of Israel because of its growth in intellectual and cultural fields, accomplishments in its economic and innovation endeavors. The conversion of desert land into gardens is exemplary.
I am proud of Israel because all its citizens have equal rights under the law, which does not permit discrimination between Jew, Arab, Christian and Muslim, notwithstanding the calumnies of antisemites and tyrants to the contrary.
I am proud of Israel, which received the support of Latin America at the time it proclaimed its independence.
I am proud of Israel because it is a nation based on safeguarding human rights that cannot be compromised and therefore its government and population identify with the values of all other democratic nations in the world.
I am proud of Israel because even though there are those who maintain that states do not have friends, they only have interests; Israel must be different because it was built upon a heritage of ethics and morality that dates back to more than three millennia. The modern State of Israel was founded in 1948, while the Jewish nation has been in existence for centuries serving as an example for humanity.
I am proud of Israel and salute Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for having publicly recognized Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela, because the present regime came to power by way of fraudulent elections. As a matter of fact, most democratic countries denied the validity of these elections. At present, there is only one legitimate National Assembly elected by popular vote in 2015 and presided over by Guaidó.
I am proud of Israel and of the letter of Guaidó addressed to Netanyahu on January 27, 2019 expressing the desire to immediately establish political and diplomatic relations with the respective appointment of representatives, has not yet been answered.
I am proud of Israel and, therefore, assume that it values right above might, freedom above tyranny, morality above material interests.
I am proud of Israel and, therefore, call upon the Knesset and the executive branch to take the necessary steps to restore full diplomatic relations between the State of Israel and the government of Venezuela led by Guaidó.
I am proud of Israel and feel an enormous sense of Jewish pride when, as a Venezuelan citizen, I was appointed Ambassador of Venezuela to Israel after having served as Chief Rabbi of the “Unión Israelita de Caracas” for 44 years.
I am proud of Israel and will always continue to be proud of both Israel and Venezuela and especially of their courageous people.
The writer, a rabbi, is the ambassador of Venezuela in Israel and the former chief rabbi of Venezuela.