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Press ReleaseAnti-Semitism: International
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Jews A Scapegoat In Honduras Political Stalemate

New York, NY, October 1, 2009 The tense political stalemate in Honduras has given rise to expressions of anti-Semitism and disturbing anti-Israel conspiracy theories. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), some political leaders, pundits and others in Honduras and Venezuela are saying that Israel and Jews played a role in the ouster and intimidation of President Manuel Zelaya and are in cahoots with the de facto president, Robert Micheletti.

 

The League has released translations of excerpts from interviews and comments made by some Honduran political figures and Venezuelan media commentators showing a pattern of blaming Jews and Israel for the political crisis.  On September 25, a commentator on Radio Globo in Honduras pointed to Jews and Israelis as "people that do damage in this country" and added, "After what I have learned, I ask myself why, why didn't we let Hitler carry out his historic mission?"

 

"From President Zelaya himself down to media pundits and political activists, there has been a troubling undercurrent of anti-Semitism in the situation in Honduras," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  "We know from history that at times of turmoil and unrest, Jews are a convenient scapegoat, and that is happening now in Honduras, a country that has only a small Jewish minority."

 

The League's has compiled various statements from Honduran public officials, commentators and others dating back to July 7, 2009, as well as statements by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and pundits on Venezuelan government television and radio.  The statements include:

  • False allegations by President Zelaya that "Israeli mercenaries" are trying to assassinate him;
  • False claims by President Chavez of Venezuela and other Zelaya supporters that Israel was the only country in the world to recognize Micheletti's de facto government;
  • Remarks by David Romero, Executive Director of Radio Globo, claiming that "officers of the Jewish army" are working in conspiracy with the Armed Forces in Honduras.  His remarks were reportedly challenged by Adolfo Facusse, president of the National Industrial Association in Tegucigalpa, who stated," Jews are our cousins and we will not tolerate such language."

"While we continue to watch events unfolding in Honduras and hope for a prompt and peaceful resolution to the country's crisis, it is imperative for all the parties involved in the negotiations, including outside mediators, to keep anti-Semitism out of the public discourse," said Mr. Foxman.  "We are heartened that some Honduran leaders have stood up to the anti-Jewish rhetoric, and hope that more will have the moral courage to do so."

Out of the country's eight million inhabitants, there are less than 100 Jewish families living in Honduras.


The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.



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Read the Report:
Jews as Scapegoat in Honduras Political Stalemate

In the News:
Anti-Jewish Statements Raise Concern on Honduras
(The AP, October 4, 2009)

Anti-Jewish Remarks Add Troubling Note to Honduran Crisis
(The New York Times, October 7, 2009)

Chavez's Venezuela: The Jewish Community Under Threat
 
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2009 Anti-Defamation League