The increasing anti-American and anti-Israel attitude of the government of Hugo Chavez has been translated into growing anti-semitism in a nation that historically has not been known to have such feelings. Seven Venezuelan police agents and four civilians have been arrested in connection with a serious attack on a synagogue which many Jews in the nation believe was encouraged by statements of their president. Originally, Chavez claimed the attack was an attempt by smear his name by members of opposition parties, but it is now clear the violence came from his supporters. Ironically, one of the policeman once worked as a bodyguard for a rabbi.
In one sense, the Jews of Venezuela are caught in the middle of growing hatred towards Israel which arose during the vicious attack on Gaza. If a right wing Israeli government takes power this month, we can expect further outbreaks of anti-semitism in the world.