The Venezuelan Jewish community leadership and several major American Jewish groups are accusing the Simon Wiesenthal Center of rushing to judgment by charging Venezuela’s leftist president, Hugo Chávez, with making antisemitic remarks.
Officials of the leading organization of Venezuelan Jewry were preparing a letter this week to the center, complaining that it had misinterpreted Chávez’s words [see page 18] and had failed to consult with them before attacking the Venezuelan president.
[…] Both the AJCommittee and the American Jewish Congress seconded the Venezuelan community’s view that Chávez’s comments were not aimed at Jews. All three groups said he was aiming his barbs at the white oligarchy that has dominated the region since the colonial era, pointing to his reference to Bolivar as the clearest evidence of his intent.
One official noted that Latin America’s so-called Liberation Theology has long depicted Jesus as a socialist and consequently speaks of gentile business elites as “Christ-killers.”