Chavez to Assad: Israel will be ‘put in its place’


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is "the assassin arm of the United States" and will one day be "put in its place," Hugo Chavez told Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Venezuelan president made his remarks Saturday during Assad’s visit to the South American country, his first ever, Reuters reported.

Chavez called for the peaceful return of the Golan Heights to Syria; it was captured by Israel in 1967.

"The territory will one day return to Syrian hands," Chavez said, according to Reuters. "Of course we want it to be peaceful because we don’t want more war."

"But one day the genocidal state of Israel will be put into its place, and let’s hope that a really democratic state emerges there, with which we can share a path and ideas," he said.

Assad called Chavez "resistant" and praised his harsh words against the U.S. and Israel.

"There are few politicians who are courageous to speak out when it’s necessary," the Syrian leader reportedly said.

Assad and Chavez signed an agreement to create a $100 million trade and development fund, the Associated Press reported.

Chavez visited Syria last year and in 2006. Assad also is traveling to Cuba, Brazil and Argentina.

Recommended from JTA