CARACAS, Venezuela (JTA) — Venezuela’s largest Jewish advocacy group has protested to the government a state-run radio broadcast that positively referenced the anti-Semitic "Protocols of the Elders of Zion."
In a formal complaint filed this week with the Public Ministry, the Venezuelan Confederation of Israelite Associations denounced the broadcast in which journalist Cristina Gonzalez read the infamous text and suggested that listeners also should read it.
“Venezuelan Jews know that promoting this anti-Semitic document only sows hate and discrimination, violating the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” the confederation said in a statement.
During the broadcast, Gonzalez expressed her admiration for the Jewish community and “non-Zionist” Israelis before plucking what she called "little pearls" from the book to explain to listeners why Zionists have been able to amass a concentration of power and wealth.
"I do not have an anti-Semitic stance, I’m not anti-anything, I read everything that falls my way," she said.
"The Protocols," written at about the turn of the 20th century, purportedly describes a Jewish plan for achieving global domination. It has been proven to be a fraud.
Confederation President Salomon Cohen has requested a formal investigation into the matter and a meeting with government officials.
Last year, President Hugo Chavez met with Jewish community representatives to discuss what they described as an incessant barrage of anti-Semitic commentaries on state-affiliated media. Chavez took to the airwaves and formally denounced anti-Semitism, saying it had no place in a revolutionary society.
Subsequently, the confederation said, there was a noticeable decrease in anti-Semitic rhetoric. Additional diplomatic signals from the Chavez government suggested that relations between the community and the state were improving.
However, anti-Semitism seems to be percolating again among the most radical elements of government supporters as Chavez gears up for what is expected to be a hard-fought campaign for re-election next year.