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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Friday, January 13, 2006

Jump first, ask questions later

At the end of last year, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was accused of making anti-Semitic comments. The usual suspects immediately claimed that the man was a menace. The truth, however, may be a little different. US Jewish newspaper, The Forward, reports:

"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 Chavez, with making anti-Semitic remarks.

"Officials of the leading organization of Venezuelan Jewry were preparing a letter this week to the centre, complaining that it had misinterpreted Chavez's words and had failed to consult with them before attacking the Venezuelan president.

"'You have interfered in the political status, in the security, and in the well-being of our community. You have acted on your own, without consulting us, on issues that you don't know or understand,' states a draft of the letter obtained by the Forward. Copies of the letter are also to be sent to the heads of the World Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Committee, among other Jewish groups.

"'We believe the president was not talking about Jews and that the Jewish world must learn to work together,' said Fred Pressner, president of the Confederation of Jewish Associations of Venezuela."

No doubt, US Jews will claim that their Venezuelan brothers and sisters need a few lessons in Zionist baiting.


Blogger Wombat said...

Misinterpreted someone's words? Israel? Well I never.

Friday, January 13, 2006 11:36:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Nothing that a nice cash donation to Israel can't fix right AL?

Friday, January 13, 2006 11:36:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Indeed. It's become pretty comical the ways in which certain people try and smear Chavez...and it's having no bloody effect at all.
May they long continue.

Friday, January 13, 2006 11:37:00 am  
Blogger Comrade JR said...

A piece in the gossip section of today's Daily Telegraph gushes about Nicole Kidman awarding a "humanitarian" prize on behalf of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre to Rupert Murdoch for, of all things, support for Israel. I've never known of a humanitarian award that was given based on support for a particular country - I thought it involved actually doing something humanitarian! See the story here:,20281,17802914-5001025,00.html

Friday, January 13, 2006 2:12:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Thanks for that. There's a small pic in today's SMH.
Will try and find out about this later. Murdoch has certainly be a 'good friend' of Israel, if blind support is regarded as a good thing.

Friday, January 13, 2006 2:18:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

How bizarre. Didn't Murdoch get himself into tac trouble a while back in Israel?

Friday, January 13, 2006 2:19:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Really? Can't recall that. Any info?
I'll post about this shortly. Found a GREAT pic from the night.

Friday, January 13, 2006 2:24:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Sorry that was meant to read "tax trouble" in case there was confusion. I remember seeing it on the TV once, with ISraeli officials rading offices owned by Murdoch at the time.

I remmber wondering hwo a guy like Murdoch could let that happen. Can't seem to find any links though.

Friday, January 13, 2006 2:41:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Actually, now I think I remember something about that. But since when were tax problems really an issue for a mogul? Evidence for the prosecution: Kerry Packer.

Friday, January 13, 2006 2:43:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

He probably paid his bill in the form of free and unconditional publicity for Israel.

Thugs are fond of contra deals.

Friday, January 13, 2006 3:02:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

The campaign against Chavez is pretty typical so far. I wonder when words will be replaced by covert ops. Maybe when the Whitehouse has a moment to think about something besides the Middle East.

Friday, January 13, 2006 6:59:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Consider it already done. A number of attempted coups against Chavez were supported by the US, but they failed.

Friday, January 13, 2006 8:48:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Wow. You guys have some really interesting delusions going on. If I was a psychologist I'd find it professionally intriguing.

Saturday, January 14, 2006 5:15:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Do tell James. That man we think is Chavez is obviously a dopple ganger right - or was it Harry Belafonte's second cousini?

2003 wasn't a failed coup right. Most likely just propaghanda stunt to ensure another election victory I presume?

Saturday, January 14, 2006 7:37:00 am  
Blogger Rich Bowden said...

Can't wait for the "CHAVEZ SECRET WMD PROGRAMME DISCOVERED" headline....

Might be worth an invasion or two to bring "democracy" to South America?

Saturday, January 14, 2006 9:27:00 am  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Which delusions in particular are you referring to, James? Don't be shy.

Saturday, January 14, 2006 2:56:00 pm  

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