A wave of anti-Semitic articles appearing on government-sponsored websites and publications in Venezuela is deeply alarming. Aporrea.org and other sites have cast the potential U.S. response to the barbaric chemical attack by the Syrian government upon its civilians as a Zionist conspiracy to control the world. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski—who supports intervention in Syria—is accused of being an agent of Israel because he has Jewish roots.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who continues his country’s close relationship with Iran, backs the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Venezuela considers Syria an ally in the Middle East and has provided oil to Assad’s forces.
The rash of disturbing reports includes a particularly troubling article written by the editor of a weekly newspaper called "Semanario Kikiriki.” The piece, "History of the Arrival of Jews to the American Continent," makes the absurd claim that Jews, even from the time of Christopher Colombus, were involved in a conspiracy to take control of the world's riches. The piece claims Jews financed Colombus' expedition, even when they were being expelled from Spain. Perhaps even more preposterous is the assertion that wealthy Jews financed Adolf Hitler during World War II.
After claiming that powerful Jews are currently financing the opposition in Venezuela, the article cites the highly anti-Semitic book “The International Jew” written by Henry Ford in 1920 and states, among other things, that Jews find joy at the misfortune of others. Jews are portrayed as inhumane creatures who only care about money and who should be blamed for all of the world’s inequalities.
Unfortunately, preposterous as these claims are, they endanger the small Jewish community of Venezuela.
B’nai B’rith urges the Venezuelan government to take measures against the publication of materials that promote xenophobia and hatred against the country's Jewish minority.