Jewish Center attacked in Venezuela

This piece is by Christopher Toothaker at AP.

Assailants threw an explosive at a Jewish community center on Thursday, but nobody was hurt in the blast — the second assault against Venezuela’s Jewish community this year.

Abraham Garzon, president of the Jewish Community Center, told the local Globovision television news channel that a small explosive resembling a pipe-bomb was lobbed at the building in Caracas before dawn on Thursday. The explosion damaged the doors to the center.

“It seems there are people in the country dedicated to sowing terrorism,” Garzon said.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, which immediately reignited fears of rising anti-Semitism in Venezuela.

It was the second attack against a Jewish institution this year.

A Caracas synagogue was ransacked and vandalized last month. The assailants shattered religious objects, spray-painted “Jews, get out” on the temple’s walls and stole a computer database containing names and addresses of Jews living in Venezuela.

Authorities have arrested 11 people, including eight police officers, suspected of participating in the attack. Investigators believe the assailants forced their way into the temple to steal a large amount of cash they believed was inside. The vandalism, authorities say, could have been aimed at turning attention away from the true motive behind the crime.

On Thursday, Sergio Widder of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for failing to take steps aimed at curbing anti-Semitism.

Chavez should strongly criticize pro-government Web sites and newspapers that have carried articles and columns that many Venezuelan Jews perceive as anti-Semitic, he said.

“This is outrageous, it’s turning into an escalation,” said Widder, the center’s representative for Latin America. “It’s the government’s responsibility to stop this.”

During Israel’s offensive in Gaza, Chavez fiercely criticized the Jewish state and ordered the Israeli ambassador out of Venezuela. Protests against the military incursion were held in Caracas and demonstrators hurled shoes at and sprayed graffiti on the Israeli embassy.

Chavez, who has repeatedly condemned the Jan. 30 attack on the synagogue, denies being anti-Semitic. The socialist leader says he simply opposes Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. He accuses the Israeli government of acting as an arm of Washington.

Venezuela’s Jewish community numbers nearly 15,000.

This piece is by Christopher Toothaker at AP.

via Z word

4 Responses to “Jewish Center attacked in Venezuela”

  1. Bill Says:

    The earlier raid involved the taking of databases that included the names and addresses of a lion’s share of Venezuela’s Jews. Let’s never forget that this is also the government that has (and uses) the Tascon list, a list of people who signed petitions against Chavez, used for retaliation purposes. All hail the Bolivarian state.

  2. Susan Says:

    Here’s a continuation of Bill’s post from

    Venezuelan Jewish Database Stolen

    One of the scariest part of the attack on the Caracas synagogue is what was stolen – two computers in the synagogue that contained the database of the Jewish community of Venezuela. This information could be used, obviously, to target any member of the community as an individual – for example, for a kidnapping or extortion, a physical attack – or the community as a whole, for example by rounding them all up or expelling them from Venezuela.

    Daniel writes about this:

    In one of the most perturbing aspects of the Caracas Synagogue attack we learned that among the stolen items was the registry of all Jewish families associated with Tiferet Israel and the Jewish community of Venezuela, including we suppose the amount of gifts offered by each to help sustain the Temple and diverse charities….

    By the way, the article listed above establishes without a doubt the “professional” nature of those who were doing the night attack. My guess is on Cuban trained Venezuelan “security” personnel. Chavez is welcome to prove us all wrong at any time by bringing forth the real guilty party. I am not holding my breath.

  3. Bill Says:

    Thanks Susan

    Daniel [Duquenal, I’m presuming], is one of the more prolific anti-Chavez bloggers. And like many of the UCU anti-boycotters is increasingly showing fatigue in fighting the good fight especially after the most recent, premature and illegal “election.” Another example of the bad pushing out the good.

  4. Caracas, What Was Stolen? « ModernityBlog Says:

    […] Caracas, What Was Stolen? 2009 March 1 by modernityblog Readers will remember the recent attack on the Synagogue in Caracas, but what wasn’t too clear was at the time, what was stolen, why and by whom, over at Engage I found this intriguing comment: […]

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