OAS asked to probe Venezuelan anti-Semitism


BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — A Jewish official asked the Organization of American States to investigate recent anti-Semitism in Venezuela.

Sergio Widder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center made the request this week during the 39th Assembly of the Organization of American States in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Widder, the Latin American representative of the Wiesenthal Center,  during a speech Monday to the gathering requested that a mission comprised of OAS members, government officials and experts on civil society investigate recent anti-Semitic attacks in Caracas.

In January, a synagogue in Caracas was vandalized; 11 people were charged in the attack, including several local law enforcement officials.

The following month, the Jewish community center was attacked with explosives. Some speculated that the attacks were in response to Israel’s military operation in Gaza, egged on by statements from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The OAS Venezuelan representative, Roy Chaderton, said that a “mass media dictatorship” is promoting the idea of anti-Semitism in Venezuela.

Widder denied the accusation, saying he was referring to tangible attacks.

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