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Venezuela’s Jewish community leaders satisfied after meeting with Chavez

Saturday, September 18th 2010 - 09:43 UTC
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Salomon Cohen also asked for resumption of relations with Israel Salomon Cohen also asked for resumption of relations with Israel

Leaders of Venezuela's Jewish community met with President Hugo Chavez on Thursday to discuss their concerns about possible anti-Semitism in state media and to ask for the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel.

The Venezuelan Confederation of Israelite Associations said its representatives gave the president a dossier containing numerous examples of anti-Semitic messages that have appeared “almost daily, and for several years, in state media and government-friendly media.”

Salomon Cohen, president of the confederation, said he was satisfied with the meeting at the presidential palace in Caracas and told journalists that Chavez promised the group that he would study everything they gave him.

“We reviewed the negative consequences that hateful expressions can lead to and how they can affect the security and integrity of the institutions and individuals that make up the community of Venezuelan Jews,” the organization said in a statement following the meeting.

It did not publicly release its examples of alleged anti-Semitism in state media, but has previously raised concerns about cartoons and commentary in government-friendly newspapers and websites.

Chavez's government recently decided to step up security at synagogues and Jewish community centres this month during Jewish New Year celebrations, according to representatives of the local Jewish community.

Cohen thanked the government for boosting security at the temples and centres.

Venezuela's Jewish community numbers nearly 15,000.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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