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CARACAS, Friday February 17, 2012 | Update
 
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ELECTION 2012 | In a letter from the Wiesenthal Center

Chávez requested to stop anti-Semitic attacks against Capriles

In a letter to President Hugo Chávez, Shimon Samuels and Sergio Widder of the Shimon Wiesenthal Center said that "the use of anti-Semitism as a tool of political struggle challenges democracy and violates the Declaration of Costa do Sauipe you signed along with your colleagues Cristina Fernández and Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva"

EL UNIVERSAL
Friday February 17, 2012  05:28 PM


The Shimon Wiesenthal Center urged President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez to personally intervene to stop anti-Semitic attacks against Henrique Capriles Radonski, the opposition presidential candidate for October 7 election.

The article "The enemy is Zionism: a loser as a cunning promise," signed by Adal Hernández and published on the website of Radio Nacional de Venezuela, features Capriles as "descendant of a family of Sephardic Jews of Curaçao (on his father's side) and a Russian-Polish Jewish family (which fled Nazism and found refuge in Venezuela, on his mother's side). Despite these Jewish roots, Capriles is a practicing Catholic.

The article purports to disqualify Capriles because of his Jewish origins, disguising the attacks as "anti-Zionism." Hernández described Zionism as "the ideology of terror, representing the most repulsive features of humanity; its alleged patriotic intentions are based on a greed which fulfills the logic that 'every nationalism without a homeland is an initiative of conquest.'" The article highlights conspiracy theories and concludes that "this is our enemy: the Zionism Capriles represents today, as he has a platform opposed to our national and independent interests. In October there are two clear proposals for Venezuela, the Bolivarian Revolution (...) and international Zionism, which threatens to destroy the planet in which we live."

In a letter to President Hugo Chávez, Shimon Samuels, Foreign Affairs Director, Shimon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), and Sergio Widder, Latin America Director, Shimon Wiesenthal Center, said that "the use of anti-Semitism as a tool of political struggle challenges democracy and violates the Declaration of Costa do Sauipe you signed along with your colleagues Cristina Fernández and Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, which explicitly condemns anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, as well as the Declaration against Anti-Semitism proposed by our Center and approved by the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) in December 2011."

"We urge President Chávez to put an end to this campaign that will surely become more threatening as the election day approaches. Chávez carries the ultimate responsibility for his own media outlets and can personally stop their hatemongering, in this case, by publically condemning and disciplining Venezuelan National Radio and ordering its Director to issue a public apology to Capriles Radonski and the Jewish people for its anti-Semitic remarks," stated Samuels.

"In fact, President Chavez is the only person who can stop these attacks. His failure to respond effectively would be an endorsement and encouragement of racism," said Widder.

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