Israel to use 'anti-Semitic' card against Chavez?
Wed, 11 Mar 2009 11:36:33 GMT
Tel Aviv embarks on a quest to turn its allies against Caracas after President Hugo Chavez ordered a break in diplomacy with Israel.
Israel's Foreign Ministry has been urging fifteen different states to pressure the outspoken president to "rein in a recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks against Venezuela's Jews," Israeli daily Ha'aretz reported on Wednesday.
A group of gunmen on the last day of January forcibly entered a heavily fortified synagogue in Caracas, spraying the walls with anti-Israel slogans and destroyed sacred objects.
Israel has since its creation used the 'anti-Semitic' label in all cases where it sees opposition to its land-grab policies and its oppression of the Palestinians.
Among the countries contacted were the South American countries of Argentina and Brazil, which according to the report had “called Chavez and relayed Israel's message”.
Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos, whose country has also received a message from Israel, is due to visit the Venezuelan capital of Caracas and has agreed to meet leaders of the local Jewish community in the country.
The recent surge in anti-Israel sentiments in Venezuela is the result of a three-week Israeli war on the people of Gaza -- a devastated Palestinian territory which suffers from a 20-month blockade.
Chavez has said an extremist Jewish group carried out the synagogue assault, insisting that aggressive political figures and private media are trying "to unleash a religious war in Venezuela".
Security forces in Venezuela have so far arrested 11 people linked to the incident. The men will be officially charged by the public prosecutor's office.