Channel 2 aired a segment highlighting the growing number of Venezuela's Jews fleeing the country amid rising instability and violence under President Nicolas Maduro.
Interviewed in their new Jerusalem apartment, Estella and Haim Sadna, a religious couple with four kids from the Venezuelan capital Caracas, told the station of the food scarcity and rampant crime that drove them to move to Israel.
“Most of the supermarkets are empty. Everything is empty. You can see that all the aisles are completely empty,” Haim Sadna told Channel 2 in an interview aired yesterday, Saturday.
His wife Estella reported of the difficulty in Venezuela of buying basic products such as milk for her kids, adding that “since Passover we haven’t had bread.
“We lived in a beautiful home with seven rooms. But we left everything behind. We left the house, we left the furniture, the cars. Everything remained [there],” the couple said. “We brought the clothes that we use. That is what we brought, clothes and shoes.”
The Sadnas discussed the collapse of public services in the country such as healthcare, as well the uncontrollably high crime rates, with Venezuela having among the world’s highest murder rate.
“The crime situation is [so bad] that it is scary to go out to the street. I only go out of it is essential and that is it,” Estella said. “At five p.m. we would run home.
“The situation got worse and worse. We could no longer go out to the street,” she continued. “On most days the kids didn’t go to school. They said they were in prison, that the house was a prison. The children have no life [in Venezuela].”
Venezuela once had one of the largest Jewish communities in the region, numbering some 25,000 in 1999. Today, only about 9,000 Jews are believed to remain in the country, reports the Times of Israel. Israel has been working behind the scenes in order to bring as many of those remaining as possible to Jewish state, according to Channel 2.