State-sponsored anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head in the West.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appears to be leading a drive to make his nation Judenrein, according to a documentary by Nora Zimmett that was broadcast Wednesday night on the HDNet World Report.
Chavez expelled Israel's ambassador to the country during the IDF counterterror Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, conducted in the first three weeks of January 2009. Simultaneously, he drew closer to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly vowed to wipe the Jewish State off the global map.
Zimmett expressed shock in her report, and not a little apprehension of her own, while documenting what local Jews had to say about their daily living conditions.
Venezuelan Jewish activist Sammy Eppel, for example, told her that he personally has been threatened. “Of course I'm afraid,” he said. “I have a family, I have children... But I hope that those things would never actually happen – those things that they promise me over the phone that they're going to do to me or to my family.”
The report cited a police raid on the Hebraica School, based on an alleged “tip” that the institution was involved in an assassination plot. “No evidence was ever found,” noted Zimmett.
Also documented were the frequent publications in the state-run media calling for the expulsion of the Jews, and the speeches by Chavez himself, comparing Zionists to Nazis on national television. The Venezuelan president also had other complaints about the Jews – “the descendants of those who crucified Christ” – implying they are the ones that have all the wealth in the world, another common libel.
Following Zimmett's Internet post about the documentary, and just prior to its broadcast, one of her sources in Caracas sent her a message warning that the Venezuelan government had told the Jewish community to “stop the transmission” of her program.
Less than a day later, Zimmett posted in a Twitter tweet, “I am hearing from my sources in Caracas that the government is instructing the Jewish community not to watch HDNet tomorrow.”