Yesterday, a small bomb exploded at a Jewish community center in Caracas, Venezuela. The attack comes on the heels of another anti-Semitic incident on January 30, when a Caracas synagogue was vandalized with phrases “Damn the Jews,” “Jews out of here,” and “Israel assassins.”
Political consultants Michael Rowan and Douglas E. Schoen proffer that Chavez may be using Jews and Israel as scapegoats to shift blame for his failure at dealing with the rampant poverty and corruption plaguing Venezuela. During Operation Cast Lead, Chavez blasted Israel’s defensive measures against Hamas as “Hitler-style, unjustified aggression.” Chavez also recalled Venezuela’s ambassador to Israel.
Chavez has also supported anti-Israel terror groups. The U.S. Treasury Department, for example, linked Chavez with financing and providing logistical support to the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. Accordingly, Heritage Foundation analyst Ray Walser contends that Washington should refrain from sending an ambassador to Caracas until Chavez reforms.