web analytics
August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Chavez and the Jews: A Sorry Tale


Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez

In their attacks on Capriles, Chavez and his press lackeys referred to him with an array of derogatory terms – “gringo,” “bourgeois,” “imperialist,” and, above all, “Zionist.” Moreover, there was no doubt that by “Zionist” the regime meant “Jew.” Perhaps the ugliest headline during the election campaign appeared in a muckraking magazine, Kikiriki, which read, “We are [expletive] if the Jews Come to Power.”

Why, then, did anti-Semitism become such a potent force in a country that eschewed it for so long? Some analysts, like Daniel Duquenal, the author of a vibrant dissident blog, regard it as the inevitable outcome of Chavez’s alliance with Iran, Hamas and Hizbullah.

Yet there is another factor. The main ideological influence on Chavez was a relatively obscure Argentinian sociologist, Norberto Ceresole. An ardent admirer of Peronism in Argentina, Ceresole was living proof of what happens when the obsessions of the far left overlap with those of the far right.

A Holocaust denier and all-round conspiracy theorist, Ceresole’s theories became the basis for what Venezuelans know as chavismo, the matrix of social institutions and values created by the Chavez regime. The first chapter of a book in which Ceresole extolled the virtues of such a system – a system in which the relationship between the “leader” and the “people” is privileged – was titled “The Jewish Problem.”

As Chavez’s acolytes ready themselves to preserve his system after his death, there are few reasons to believe that antagonism toward Jews will disappear. Nicolas Maduro is an orthodox chavista who, as foreign minister, enthusiastically pushed for even closer relations with Israel’s enemies. Maduro’s main rival, the National Assembly president, Diosdado Cabello, is viewed as less ideologically motivated but he too is unlikely to mend fences with Israel and the U.S.

Moreover, even after he is buried, Chavez’s figure will loom large in the political life of Venezuela. Should Henrique Capriles challenge Chavez’s successor, it is probable, according to Sammy Eppel, director of the Human Rights Commission of B’nai B’rith Venezuela, that the “shocking anti-Semitic” caricatures used against him last year will emerge again.

As for Chavez himself, Eppel does not hold back.

“Chavez will probably be remembered as the one who made Venezuelan Jews feel that for the first time they were not welcome in their own country, a chilling reminder of past tragedies,” he told me in an e-mail.

For the Venezuelan people, facing economic chaos and political meltdown, the tragedy continues.

About the Author: Ben Cohen, senior editor of TheTower.org & The Tower Magazine, writes a weekly column for JNS.org on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern politics. His writings have been published in Commentary, the New York Post, Haaretz, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications. He is the author of “Some of My Best Friends: A Journey Through Twenty-First Century Antisemitism” (Edition Critic, 2014).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Chavez and the Jews: A Sorry Tale”

  1. I pray that Venezuela will have a complete recovery from the illness of Anti-Semitism.

  2. Well, leave it to haven, he got what he deserved and I hope he suffers, thanks for the article.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Brooklyn's "Vote No on the Nuclear Deal" rally organizers singing Ani Ma'amim. (L to R) Cantor Shlomie Rabin, Councilmember David Greenfield, Jeffrey Davis (back row), Kalman Yager (back row), Chanina Sperlin, State Sen. Jesse Hamilton, Zaki Tamir, Yaacov Berhman, Assemblyman Dov Hikind. Aug. 26, 2015.
In Show of Unity, Bklyn Pols Rally Against Iran Deal
Latest Indepth Stories
Major Monster, "Shirley Temper" looking at the cameraman.

The MONSTERS of Nebi Saleh know well the damning, visceral impact of powerful, deceitful imagery.

Proud Members of Jewish Voice for Peace

Jewish Voice for Peace openly supports BDS movement against ALL of Israel & ending the Jewish State.

Israel Football Game in Jerusalem; Alex Swieca, Quarterback

In recent years, there has been a big push to grow and develop American Football here in Israel.

Koran teaches the concept of "Tiqqiya," strategic lying

Unlike Judaism & Christianity which honors “truth,” Islam pursues “Taqiyya,” strategic lying

Yashar Lachayal’s mission is to learn what IDF soldiers’ need and get it to them when they need it.

Corbyn leading the Britain’s Labour Party polls, describes Hamas & Hizbullah as England’s “friends.”

The convicted murderer was released from Israeli prison with more than two dozen other sociopaths

JCF is a donor/supporter of The New Israel Fund which supports BDS & wants IDF soldiers prosecuted

The ‘Peace Industry’ promotes its adherents; weak leaders, both military & political, is the result

The conundrum for US Labor Zionists: Lobbying for Iran deal while Israel’s Left lobby’s against it.

What does the Torah want from our small nation described as “they who struggle with God & with men”?

Mr. Nadler’s support for the deal is a naked political gift to a president who has defied logic in his quest to reinvent international affairs according to his ideological inclinations.

In practical terms, the proclamation surely makes a compelling argument:

BDS activists are not shy about discriminating against Israelis simply because they are Israelis –

More Articles from Ben Cohen
Ben Cohen

Corbyn leading the Britain’s Labour Party polls, describes Hamas & Hizbullah as England’s “friends.”

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reviewing one of Iran's nuclear plants.

The Middle East has rapidly changed for the worse the past five years. The worst may be yet come.

UN Amb Prosor: Anti-Semitism “can even be found in the halls of UN disguised as umanitarian concern”

The Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland informed the host he could not say “Israel or Jewish state”

The coalition the US has assembled to fight ISIS is based on an immediate coincidence of interest.

A growing chorus of influential voices is arguing that Israel needs to finish the job in Gaza.

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

As of this moment, the Kurds have little reason to hold back from declaring independence.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/chavez-and-the-jews-a-sorry-tale/2013/01/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: