Caracas Jews protest synagogue attack


NEW YORK (JTA) — The Jewish community of Caracas protested an attack on a synagogue.

Dozens of protesters, many bearing the flags of Israel and Venezuela, gathered Thursday outside the main Caracas synagogue, El Universal reported.

"We do not talk politics in these premises," said Elías Farache, president of the Venezuelan Israeli Association. "Here we meet, we pray, we gather … We pray for you, for Venezuela. For this reason, we feel outraged and devastated. An attack against a temple is outrageous." 

More than a dozen armed men overtook the Tiferet Israel synagogue in Caracas last week, desecrating religious items, scrawling threatening messages on the walls, and stealing administrative information about the Jewish community. The attack was condemned by the government, which blamed it on the political opposition, but many Jews have accused President Hugo Chavez of fomenting an anti-Jewish atmosphere with his broadsides against the State of Israel.

According to the El Universal report, a group of Chavez supporters harassed the demonstrators by shouting pro-Palestine slogans.

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