Anti-Semitism in Venezuela in Wake of the Gaza Flotilla
Government Statements on the Gaza Flotilla
Posted: June 16, 2010
President Hugo Chavez's anti-Israel propaganda apparatus was quick to react to the Gaza Flotilla incident. The President, the National Assembly, Foreign and Interior Ministers, and members of the governing political party rushed to judgment, issuing extreme condemnations and proclamations calling for Israel to be tried for its crimes.
The government and different branches of its bureaucracy sponsored a forum called "Attack on the Freedom Flotilla: Crime against Humanity."
The following are excerpts of government statements surrounding the flotilla affair:
President Hugo Chavez, National TV and Radio Broadcast
June 26-27, 2010 - National Radio of Venezuela (RNV) and Noticias24
Statements during the official visit of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad to Venezuela.
"The Golan Heights belong to the Syrian people ... the genocidal state of Israel will be put in place, and hopefully a democratic state will be born, with which to share ideas.
"The Israeli Government has become the murderer arm of the U.S. Empire, a threat to people struggling for their freedoms.
"... We have a common enemy: the U.S. Empire, and the genocidal state of Israel ... [We share the goal] to carry out a socialist revolution, putting ahead the interests of our people.
"[With] the warmongering intentions of the State of Israel, as the armed wing of the U.S. Empire... the Venezuelan government will always lend its support in that battle.
"Where are the values of humanity, where are the battles waged in the human cause, [the values] of Muhammad and Christ, are [present] throughout Latin America and in all Arab countries."
June 6, 2010 – Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (ABN)
"…I want to give my most heartfelt tribute to those who were killed by Israeli commandoes who perpetrated truly an operation of massacre. Honor and glory to those martyrs of the human cause!..."
June 2, 2010 - Venezolana de Televisón (VTV)
"Yankee empire, don't you see the massacre that the genocidal State of Israel committed against a group of pacifist that were taking humanitarian cargo to the Palestinian people in Gaza, which is surrounded everywhere by Israel. [Israel] doesn't even allow them water…They massacred some people, didn't you see?
"Now look at what the US says. The US is worried. Imagine that… what would have happened God forbid if it had occurred in Venezuelan waters. We would be invaded, but because it is Israel anything is allowed. So this is an example of double standards…The Obama government condemns terrorism as long as its not committed by them, the US, or their allies, Israel….
"They accuse us; they accuse me of sponsoring terrorism. It is them who sponsor terrorism.
"I take this opportunity to condemn from the bottom of my soul, from the bottom of my guts: Damn you State of Israel! Damn you! Terrorist and Assassins! [Crowd applauds and shouts 'Long Live Palestine!'] Long live the Palestinian people! Heroic people! Good people!
"Now look, the Venezuelan opposition has said nothing against Israel … Israel is financing the Venezuelan opposition, the counter-revolution. There are even groups of Israeli terrorists, of the Mossad, who are after me trying to kill me. That is one of the threats we have against us, only that we have them under control. We know where they move in the Caribbean Islands. They are not invisible. They are actually clumsy most of the time. They are accustomed to fight against the defenseless. Like those of the humanitarian expedition. They fell in the middle of the night bursting ammunition with riffles; people who were sleeping; in international waters.
"This is a war crime. Where is the International Criminal Court? Where are the United Nations? Where is the justice in this world, for the love of God?...
"…They accuse me of being an enemy of the Jews, my greetings and respect to the Jewish community. They know they have our affection and respect...I doubt very much that a Venezuelan Jew would support an atrocity like that one [perpetrated by Israel]".
Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro
Editor's Note - July 6, 2010: An earlier version of this report described a TV interview given by Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro about statements by Dorit Shavit, Director of Latin American for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the alleged Hezbollah presence in Venezuela and its potential to target Jewish institutions for attack. The original ADL report stated that Shavit had made no such statements since the beginning of 2010. In fact, Shavit's alleged statements were extrapolated from an interview by the Peruvian newspaper La Razon on June 10, 2010 while she was representing Israel (as an observer) at the 40th OAS General Assembly in Lima.
June 15, 2010 – Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the US
"…We warn the international community on any provocation or violent actions after such statements [by Shavit] carried out by any terrorist intelligence agency network of a so-called state such as Israel…"
June 12, 2010 – Venezolana de Televisón (VTV)
"This is a provoking and irresponsible statement made by an official of the Israeli Foreign Ministry… everyone knows that Israel is being denounced internationally as a terrorist State responsible for crimes in different parts of the world…
"We have to reject these statements… in Venezuela we have a respectful relationship with members of all faiths and in particular… with the Jewish community in Venezuela… the Jewish community in Venezuela knows that it can feel secure and protected…and they can find in the Bolivarian [Venezuelan] government a valid interlocutor respectful of the entire Jewish community in Venezuela.
"That is why, I believe, the statement made by this official [suggesting alleged Hezbollah presence in Venezuela and a potential attack on Jewish targets] needs to be rejected by the Jewish community in our country because it is a very dangerous statement. Everyone knows that the agency called the Mossad, which is the intelligence assassin apparatus of the State of Israel are specialists in arranging simulated operations, declaring them and then executing them to repeat all over the world any barbarity they can fabricate. We alert the international community of any act of provocation or act of violence that occurs in the aftermath of the statements of this official [Shavit]. A provocation carried out by any agency of the intelligence apparatus, of the terrorist police apparatus of the State of Israel, a State which is under such scrutiny."…
These statements [by Shavit] are looking to shift the world denouncement and the worldwide calls for a profound investigation of the massacre perpetrated against the Freedom Flotilla…where men and women of diverse nationalities were assassinated while sending humanitarian aid Gaza. So we understand that [Shavit's] statements have as an objective to muddle the waters, to muddle the image and the morals of the government of President Hugo Chavez… The Bolivarian government of Venezuela has denounced the crimes committed by the State of Israel against the Palestinian people, and in this case, against the Freedom Flotilla. Sooner or later those assassins, who run the State of Israel need to investigated, imprisoned and sent to international tribunals."
June 2, 2010 – Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (ABN)
"…An investigation should aim to punish the crime of state terrorism that was committed against a group of civilians carrying humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people of Gaza…
"…If you want to see terrorism, look at the U.S. government, its own allies, criminal states like Israel, which are protected by the U.S. government itself…
"…Really shameful are the recent statements by U.S. vice president, Joe Biden, justifying the massacre of the Freedom Flotilla that was slaughtered a few days ago in international waters off the Gaza Strip…"
May 21, 2010 – Radio Nacional de Venezuela (RNV)
At a press conference with Minister of Interior, Tarek El Aissami, President of the National Assembly, Cilia Flores, and representatives of the Lebanese, Syrian and Arab communities living in Venezuela as well as other Venezuelan NGOs.
"You have to classify this as a massacre ... we repudiate the slaughter, as you know commander Hugo Chavez has been at the forefront of this struggle to denounce the attitude, the behavior of state terrorism of Israel to denounce the slaughter that was recently suffered by the people of Lebanon in 2006, and the Palestinian people of Gaza a year and a half ago and today we want ... the right of the Arab people to peace, to ratify the repudiation of the government of President Hugo Chavez for the slaughter that was perpetrated against a group of men and women who were sending relief to the Palestinian people.
"The Peace Flotilla comprised of men and women of various nationalities had medicine, food and above all a hand of solidarity on behalf of the millions in the world fighting for the Palestinian people's right to exist. For the claim to their land, for the right of the Palestinian people to statehood and the right to peace and to ultimately end Zionist aggression against the Arab people in general ...
"... Sooner or later these actions need to be brought to international courts to bring the criminals who have ordered a time and again the slaughter against the Palestinian people; and now against the people all over the world who stand in solidarity..."
Interior Minister Tarek El Aissami
June 1, 2010 - Venezolana de Televisón (VTV)
"The assassin government of Israel acts with impunity with the support of the North American empire. Israel would not do that if it weren't for the backing of the United States …
"… The Venezuelan [opposition] media is quiet, even as they have a fellow journalist from TeleSur detained, kidnapped by a terrorist government...
"This was a brutal and savage act that chronicles what Israel has done over the past 63 years, continuously and permanently against the people of Palestine…
"We are convinced that sooner rather than later Palestine will achieve its freedom, Palestine will be free and will be for the Palestinians…and we will celebrate with jubilee this popular victory for the Palestinian people!"
Venezuelan National Assembly
June 1, 2010 - Venezolana de Televisón (VTV)
Comments by Deputy Aleidys "Chiche" Manaure
"You can not separate politics of the Israeli Zionist to American warmongering, the state of Israel has the support from the U.S."
Comments by Deputy Mario Isea
"…The Palestinians wanted mutual recognition with Israel and the response it receives is killing!..."
"…We are witnessing the exercise of terrorism against a people", "What Israel wants is to exterminate the Palestinian people… the [Israeli] government is super-fascist…"
Excerpts of National Assembly Statement
"With this new criminal act, the Government of the State of Israel violates all principles of international law and international humanitarian law in the eyes of the world and further aggravated the fragile situation in the Middle East. This is compounded by the statements made by its Ambassador within the United Nations, which are a shameful and cynical act, with which it seeks to justify the vicious attack on people in this humanitarian mission…
"…We request the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, as well as the UN Security Council to launch the approval of a resolution to punish the crime. Similarly we reiterate the request to the United Nations to enforce resolutions that give full sovereignty to the Palestinian nation, the Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories and the punishment for the violation of human rights by State Israel against the Palestinian people…
"…We urge all social movements and all democratic forces in the country to speak out against these heinous attacks…
"…We qualify as an act of irresponsibility and cynicism the attitude of the Government of the United States, which has political responsibility for this criminal action by the Government of the State of Israel, being the main supporter of terrorist actions that have been made the army of that country…."
Raymundo Kabchi – Professor of the Pedro Gual Institute of Diplomacy (of the Foreign Ministry)
"[The attack on the Flotilla] is a consequence of an aggression and occupation committed 62 years ago; an act of injustice against the Palestinian people's legitimate right to a homeland and an illegal, inmoral and totally criminal Israeli occupation.
"This crime committed in 1947 and 1948 by the United Nations against the Palestinian people, has had dire consequences. It has been 62 years every day without exception. The Palestinian people are subjected to acts of extermination well defined by international Zionism in accordance with the most harmful interests of international imperialism in the Middle East ...
"... It is a criminal act, an act of piracy carried out by Israel ... it is an act of defiance to the entire world. Some people with a humanitarian mission, a mission for peace, for life, a totally peaceful and civilian mission was massacred by the Israeli army and the worst of all it took place in international waters ... at the hands of the new Nazism which is International Zionism… "