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Caracas synagogue update: Rabbi’s security guard suspected in Venezuela synagogue attack

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caracas synagogue update

Rabbi’s security guard suspected in Venezuela synagogue attack
AP via Ynet, Feb 9 2009

A security guard and a police officer who worked as a bodyguard for a local rabbi are among the suspects accused of ransacking and vandalizing a Caracas synagogue, Venezuela’s justice minister said Monday. Tareck El Aissami said that one of the two security guards on duty during last month’s attack at the Tiferet Israel Synagogue helped intruders by cutting electricity cables feeding an electric fence surrounding the building and deactivating the alarm.


‘anti-semitic attack’ by synagogue staff

Venezuela arrests police, guard in synagogue attack
Reuters, Feb 8 2009

Venezuelan investigators on Sunday said seven police agents and four civilians were arrested in connection with an attack on a synagogue that sparked international condemnation. The Venezuelan public prosecutor’s office said the civilians included at least one security official from the synagogue and that all had been captured in raids over the weekend. “These people were apprehended during raids carried out between Saturday and the early hours of Sunday in different parts of Caracas. They will all be charged by the Public Prosecutor’s office,” the office said in a statement. Armed men broke into Venezuela’s Tiferet synagogue last week, daubing the walls with slogans like “Jews get out”, and destroyed religious objects. The attack produced a deluge of condemnation of President Hugo Chavez. Members of the US Congress said in a letter that Chavez had fostered a climate of fear against the Jewish community, and the World Jewish Congress was also critical. Chavez condemned the attack on the synagogue, which he blamed on armed groups opposed to his government. This week he said investigators had found a videotape of the assailants in the temple and predicted arrests would quickly follow. Representatives of World Jewish Congress met with Venezuelan officials on Friday and said the government had promised to clamp down on anti-Semitic acts. Despite the government’s assurances, some Chavez supporters are openly anti-Semitic and graffiti has become a common sight on Caracas’ streets.

Venezuela detains attack suspects
AP via JPost, Feb 9 2009

Authorities arrested 11 people, including seven police officers, suspected of carrying out an attack on a Caracas synagogue that raised concerns of rising of anti-Semitism in Venezuela, officials said Sunday. The Attorney General’s Office said an agent of the federally controlled investigative police force and one of the synagogue’s security guards was among the 11 suspects arrested during raids over the weekend. The suspects are scheduled to be arraigned Monday. On Jan 30, about fifteen people overpowered two security guards at the Tiferet Israel Synagogue, shattering religious objects and spray-painting “Jews, get out” on the walls. The assailants also stole a computer database with names and addresses. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez condemned the attack and promised representatives of Venezuela’s 15,000-member Jewish community that those responsible would be brought to justice. But Venezuela’s Jewish leaders and international observers said the socialist president’s harsh criticism of the Israeli government has inspired a growing list of hate crimes. Venezuelan Jews also expressed concern after Chavez initially suggested the synagogue attack might have been carried out by Jews eager to portray his government as anti-Semitic.


Also see:

President Hugo Chavez suspects “antisemitic crime hoax” at Caracas synagogue

Written by morris

February 13, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Posted in Jews, venezuela

Tagged with ,

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