Venezuelan Jews, long uneasy with the Chávez government’s alliances with Iran and other Middle Eastern countries that espouse anti-Israel views, are concerned that the government is sponsoring anti-Semitism in this hemisphere, a prominent journalist said Tuesday.
’’The situation we have now in Venezuela is that for the first time in modern history we have government-sponsored anti-Semitism in a Western country,’’ said Sammy Eppel. “That is why this is very dangerous, not just for the Jewish community in Venezuela but for the Jewish community as a whole.’’
Among the examples offered by Eppel:
Venezuelan government intelligence services twice have raided the country’s most important Jewish center in a vague, ultimately unsuccessful search for weapons. Publications of the government’s cultural ministry run articles entitled ‘’the Jewish Question,’’ along with a Jewish star superimposed over a swastika.