Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Chavez’s Incitement

This installment of violent anti-Semitism comes courtesy of Sean Penn’s favorite demagogue:

As President Hugo Chavez intensifies his anti-Israel campaign, some Venezuelans have taken action, threatening Jews in the street and vandalizing the largest synagogue in Caracas—where they stole a database of names and addresses. Now many in Venezuela’s Jewish community fear the worst is yet to come.

Chavez artfully couches his criticism in leftist  boilerplate about the “genocidal” Israeli government, but here is where all that theoretical Third-Worldism and anti-Zionism crashes into, and sustains, real world Jew-hatred:

One week before the invasion, a Chavista columnist named Emilio Silva posted a call to action on Aporrea, a pro-government Web site, describing Jews as “squalid”—a term Chavez often uses to describe his opponents as weak—and exhorting Venezuelans to confront them as anti-government conspirators.

“Publicly challenge every Jew that you find in the street, shopping center or park,” he wrote, “shouting slogans in favor of Palestine and against that abortion: Israel.”

Silva called for protests at the synagogue, a boycott of Jewish-owned businesses, seizures of Jewish-owned property, the closure of Jewish schools and a nationwide effort “to denounce publicly, with names and last names the members of powerful Jewish groups present in Venezuela.”

So, Israel’s government is “genocidal” — which logically demands that you confront local Jews for being “squalid.”