Jews As Scapegoats in the Honduras Political Stalemate

Introduction - Jews as Scapegoats

As the tense political stalemate in Honduras continues, there are troubling signs that the current crisis has given rise to anti-Semitism and disturbing anti-Zionist conspiracy theories.

The stalemate has led to charges from political leaders, media pundits and other key figures in the country that Israel and Jews were behind the ouster and intimidation of President Manuel Zelaya and that they are in cahoots with the de facto president, Robert Micheletti.

These charges have emerged despite the fact that Honduras has a tiny Jewish community, does not even have a permanent rabbi and does not have an Israeli embassy.

Examples of conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic statements that have emerged from the situation in Honduras include:

  • False allegations spewed by President Zelaya that Israeli mercenaries are trying to assassinate him;
  • Remarks by the Director of Radio Globo that Hitler should have "finished his job" with the Jews;
  • False claims by President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and other Zelaya supporters that Israel was the only country in the world to recognize Micheletti's de facto government.

It is unacceptable that a domestic political conflict is being blamed on the "other," in this case, Jews.

In contrast, it was encouraging to hear, as reported by the local media in Honduras, the remarks of Adolfo Facusse, the president of the National Industrial Association in Tegucigalpa.  In reaction to the anti-Semitic rants on Radio Globo, Facusse, a Honduran-Arab national, stated that "Jews are our cousins and we will not tolerate such language."

This report provides English-language translations of anti-Semitic statements and conspiracy theories involving Israel which are a backdrop of the current crisis in Honduras.

Anti-Israel Conspiracy Theories

Honduran Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas, September 25, 2009 (report published in TeleSUR)
It was reported that while in New York, Honduran Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas gave a press conference in which she alleged that two Israeli companies supplied the toxic gases thrown inside the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, where President Manuel Zelaya was staying.
"We have received information that the chemicals and arms have been supplied by Alfacom and Intercom companies, owned by an Israeli … who served as an intermediary with Israel. Bringing them (into the country) on a private flight in the last few days."

President Manuel Zelaya, September 24, 2009
While taking refuge in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, the Spanish publication interviews President Zelaya. The anchor asks Presidents Zelaya if he fears for his life. His answer:

"Yes. They have installed devices that interfere with the telephone lines. We have denounced this and it is possible that they will take it away. It seems that there is a group, supposedly of Israeli mercenaries that are putting electronic equipment to directly impact the embassy."

In an interview with The Miami Herald, Zelaya says that he sleeping on chairs, and he claims his throat is sore from toxic gases and "Israeli mercenaries'' are torturing him with high-frequency radiation."  "We are being threatened with death,'' adding that mercenaries were likely to storm the Brazilian embassy. Zelaya said that he was being subjected to toxic gases and radiation that alter his physical and mental state.

President Hugo Chavez, September 24, 2009
In his address to the UN General Assembly. President Chavez makes reference to the Honduras impasse and recounts his conversation moments earlier with President Zelaya while taking refuge in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa:

"This morning they found in a neighbor's home [to the Brazilian Embassy], in the roof of a neighboring home, intercepting equipment – the President told me – made in Israel, of the latest generation. Israel recognized the [Micheletti] de facto government; I think it is the only government in the world that has recognized it. They have equipment directed to perturbing the mind, trying to cause panic in the few people that are in the Brazilian embassy; they are threatening to incursion in the Brazilian embassy. Do you realize their cavern-like character? I think it is the era of Trucutu. It is the era of the caverns that want to come back here. They will not come back, they will not come back! There are repressed people on the streets. Well, the airports were taken; they are a people that were taken over. Now, who are the coup-backers? It is the Honduran bourgeois, the coup State, the State taken over by the bourgeois, by the rich. Four or five very rich families, they are the owners of the State. We should read Lenin again: The State and the Revolution, the bourgeois State. They control all, all: the National Congress, the Judicial Power, the Military Forces, the State, and the people on the streets are massacred."

President Hugo Chavez, July 7, 2009 on National TV broadcast
"The de facto government in Honduras does not listen to the world, they do not obey the OAS and UN Resolutions… it is like Israel that doesn't obey anyone, that massacres the Palestinian people, that does whatever it wants… because they are supported by the US government."

President Hugo Chavez, July 2, 2009 in the Program Aló Presidente
"Zelaya said that if this coup continues one more week he would accuse the world powers and I will accuse the first power which is the United States. Because it is like Israel, the State of Israel, that violates the Palestinians as they wish. Why do they do it? Because they are supported. By whom? The power of the Empire supports them. That is the same thing that happens with the coup plotters fascists in Honduras. They have the support of the extreme right, of CNN, which is an expression of the media, military, industrial, financial, terrorist, narco-traffic apparatus, which unfortunately has its epicenter in the US. This is a power for the evil; this is a warning for Obama. The coup is not against Chavez, the coup is against Obama."

Aristobulo Isturiz, Vice-President of the President Hugo Chavez political party PSUV, 
July 6, 2009

In a TV interview on VTV, the main Venezuelan government-owned TV channel, Isturiz said:

"[The de facto government in Honduras] are trying to put a matrix of opinion that Venezuelan and Nicaragua are intervening in the conflict…this is in part a strategy to try to insert us in a conflict. The strategy is similar to that of Israel. Look at the strategy of Israel. That is how they try to create a type of conflict of war. Because we espouse peace. The way of peace is how movements in Latin America have been able to flourish in its liberation process. What is convenient for them is to involve us in a conflict in Latin America. The US Empire, and I am not saying that President Obama is, but the US military complex through the CIA have their hands in Honduras to try to bring about instability. These people [coup plotters] are the spokespeople of the Empire."

Anti-Semitic Statements

David Romero, Executive Director Radio Globo, September 25, 2009
In a radio interview regarding his alleged investigation into the "involvement" of Israeli officials in the Honduran crisis Romero said:

"I have asked myself, is there a Honduran, whether on military uniform or not, capable of doing what they are doing there - trying to poison the President of the Republic? I have realized that they cannot be accomplices. But when a Honduran finds someone to help him do evil, I believe he can do evil.

"There are times when I ask myself if Hitler was or not correct in finishing with that race with the famous Holocaust. If there are people that do damage in this country, they are Jewish, the Israelis. I want to name, this afternoon here in Radio Globo, by name and last name, who are the two officers of the Jewish army who are working with the Armed Forces of our country and who are in charge of carrying out all these conspiracy activities and undercover actions and everything else that is happening to the President of the Republic.

"After what I have learned, I ask myself why, why didn't we let Hitler carry out his historic mission. Forgive me for the grotesque expression. But I ask myself after I have realized this and many other things. I believe it should have been fair and valid to let Hitler finish his historic vision…" 

Anti-Zionist Sentiment in Media Outlets

The following articles espouse anti-Zionist sentiments involving the Honduran crisis:

Vladimir Acosta, on the main National Venezuelan Radio station (RNV)
July 6, 2009

"The Honduran military is trained in the military of the School of the Americas, which is the center of the North American power, which is a brothel, a military center of tortures, related to the Mossad, with the Israeli intelligence, with the CIA, those are the fundamental pillars of the Honduran nation…"

Mario Silva, on the main Venezuelan government TV Station (VTV)
July 7, 2009
"[The UN and the OAS} are there only in form, in figure, the same way that Israel occupies Palestine, and all these years have passed and they still do the same, always negotiating and [Israel] always repressing and always killing the Palestinian people."

Hindu Anderi and Richard Peñalver, on the main National Venezuelan Radio station (RNV)
July 8, 2009
"In Honduras the UN and the OAS [are involved]. The US and Israel are the only nations that have stepped over these organizations... the US and Israel do not pay attention to the international institutions to the UN or the OAS… It is similar to what happened with the Iraqi invasion, with the bombing of Lebanon in 2006, and more recently in Palestine, they did not stop the aggression. The evidence is there the superpower that represents the US and the Zionist lobby that are above these institutions."

Joel Ostos, Director of the Communist Party in Venezuela
July 7, 2009
"…It is worth reflecting that external forces of the Empire (i.e. the Southern Command) have their hands in this experiment [Honduras coup] and it can bear them "good fruits" if successful…this is a good laboratory for them to create a repressive State, an international instigator, unsubordinated to the international laws, and a violator of the most basic human rights in the hemisphere. In other words, to install a new Israel in Central America…

No to Coup d'etat!
No to imperialism!
No to a New Israel in Cental America!"

Stop Israeli involvement in the repression of the people in Honduras and Latin America - Sever Latin American military ties with Israel
August 28, 2009

Statement in the occasion of the global Action Day against the Coup in Honduras - August 28 2009 by Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

As Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign we raise our voice and join with all those that today are protesting the coup in Honduras, the dictatorship and repression by Micheletti's regime. As Palestinians, we know that we and the Honduran people are part of the same struggle. We are well aware that this crime would not have been planned and executed without the active support of foreign powers.

Many reports indicate not only involvement of US intelligence but Israeli military and intelligence as well. Israel has a long history supporting the repression of the people in Latin America. From the Contras in Nicaragua to the dictatorships in Paraguay, Guatemala and Chile – Israeli weapons, intelligence and training have offered crucial backing. Today, Colombia is probably the biggest recipient of Israeli arms and training… it is not surprising that today we have received news about Israeli involvement in the overthrow of democracy in Honduras.

We are seriously concerned that Israel might be effectively involved in the coup in Honduras on several levels:

While the entire American continent has isolated the current regime in Honduras, the leader of the coup has announced Israeli backing of his government. Several commentators have highlighted that in the months before the coup, the Israeli embassy was the site of intense diplomatic movement with important representatives of the opposition, including Micheletti.

CODEH has denounced the Micheletti regime for contracting Israeli commandos and security companies to train the Honduran forces in the use of violence against the demonstrators, including targeted crimes to sow fear and terror and dismantle the resistance. They report that security company personnel is sometimes directly executing the repression.

This description of repression repeats the same patterns of attacks faced by the Palestinian people during the protests against the Wall and the Israeli occupation. Israel is engaged in low intensity warfare against Palestinian communities resisting the Wall, targeting the entire community as well as individuals within it. This includes the violent repression of the demonstrations, targeted killings of activists (mainly at the fringes of the demonstration), collective punishment and psychological terror.

The expertise provided by the Israeli military to the Honduran coup has been acquired from killing, repressing and ethnically cleansing the Palestinian people. Indeed, the profits from its arms trade with Latin America allow its arms industry to thrive and to maintain the occupation and colonization of our lands.

Israeli involvement in the coup in Honduras would be only a logical extension of its policies. For Israel, a colonial state built on the expulsion and ongoing repression of the indigenous population, the rise of anti-colonial and emancipatory forces anywhere of the world constitutes a potential threat to the very paradigm it is built on. Clearly, Israeli allegiance to and cooperation with the most right wing US politics make the involvement in the coup a political imperative.

The coup and Israeli involvement in it has implications beyond Honduras, rendering Israeli diplomatic and military presence a threat to all Latin American democratic forces. This coup is not only a brutal act against the people in Honduras but acts as a model for a renewed attack on all the people in Latin America.

We therefore call for all democratic Latin American countries to take a principled step against Israeli crimes and violations of human rights and the historical and current support to anti-democratic forces and repressive regimes in Latin America and to:

- End diplomatic relations with Israel
- Expel Israeli military advisors and 'security firms'
- Immediately stop and cancel arms trade agreements with Israel

The democratic and progressive countries and their regional alliances such as the ALBA, MERCOSUR and others, have to take their commitment to the defense of human rights and democracy in their region and across the globe seriously. Israel does not only kill, torture, imprison and repress the Palestinian people. Far too many Latin American's have suffered from Israeli trained paramilitary and died of Israeli weapons.


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