[Marxism] ADL plays "anti-Semite" card against Honduran popular movement

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Oct 4 17:15:53 MDT 2009


The New York Times
October 4, 2009
Anti-Jewish Statements Raise Concern on Honduras
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 6:51 p.m. ET

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) -- A Jewish civil rights organization is 
expressing alarm over conspiracy theories claiming Jews and Israel aided 
the ouster of the Honduran president and attempts to dislodge him from 
his refuge in the Brazilian Embassy.

The U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League cited statements made by ousted 
President Manuel Zelaya as well as the news director of a radio station 
that was closed by the interim government in Honduras and by Venezuelan 
President Hugo Chavez, among others.

Most of the comments repeat widely circulated rumors that Israeli 
soldiers -- or in some versions, mercenaries -- worked with the troops 
backing interim President Roberto Micheletti, allegedly supplying some 
form of tear gas used at the embassy and providing other assistance.

The interim government, which came to power after the military arrested 
Zelaya and flew him to exile in Costa Rico on June 28, has denied 
receiving any Israeli help or using any tear gas at the embassy. 
Journalists who have covered the political crisis say they have not seen 
any sign of Israeli involvement.

The Jewish group also criticized Chavez for claiming at the United 
Nations that Israel is the only country to recognize the coup-installed 
government, something Micheletti's administration has denied.

The ADL also cited an interview with The Miami Herald in which Zelaya 
said that ''Israeli mercenaries are torturing him with high-frequency 
radiation.''

''We know from history that at times of turmoil and unrest, Jews are a 
convenient scapegoat,'' ADL national director Abraham H. Foxman, said in 
a statement released Sunday. ''And that is happening now in Honduras, a 
country that has only a small Jewish minority.''

''We know from history that at times of turmoil and unrest, Jews are a 
convenient scapegoat,'' ADL national director Abraham H. Forman said in 
a statement released Sunday. ''And that is happening now in Honduras, a 
country that has only a small Jewish minority.''

The group estimates the Central American country is home to less than 
100 families in a population of about 8 million -- and says it has no 
real history of anti-Semitism.

Chavez, a Zelaya ally, has repeatedly criticized Israel, while insisting 
he is not anti-Semitic.

Zelaya was forced from office with the backing of the Honduran Congress 
and Supreme Court for trying to hold a referendum on rewriting the 
constitution. His opponents charged he wanted to lift the charter's 
provision limiting presidents to a single term. He denied that.

With the backing of much of the international community, including the 
U.S. government, Zelaya is seeking to be reinstated to serve out his 
term, which ends in January. He has been holed up in the Brazilian 
Embassy with dozens of supporters since slipping back into Honduras on 
Sept. 21.

A copy of the ADL report was sent to Zelaya through one of his 
associates inside the Brazilian Embassy but there was no immediate comment.

Among the remarks criticized by the ADL is a statement by David Romero, 
news director of Radio Globo, which supports Zelaya.

On Sept. 25, commenting on the rumors alleging Israeli involvement in 
the crisis, Romero referred on air to the ''famous Holocaust'' and added 
that ''I believe it should have been fair and valid to let Hitler finish 
his historic vision.''

Romero apologized for the remarks Sunday in an interview with The 
Associated Press, saying that they were ''stupid'' statements made in 
the heat of the moment and that don't reflect his real views.

He said his grandfather was a Jewish immigrant from Czechoslovakia who 
came to Honduras to escape persecution in Europe.

''I apologize to the Jewish community here and throughout the world,'' 
Romero said.

Radio Globo was shut down and its equipment confiscated by security 
forces after Micheletti issued an emergency decree banning large-scale 
demonstrations and limiting civil liberties, including freedom of the 
press. The interim president, who has come under increasing pressure at 
home and abroad over the restrictions, is expected to decide Monday 
whether to lift the decree.

There have been some signs of progress in the bitter standoff, with 
Zelaya and the interim government negotiating through intermediaries 
ahead of a visit set for Wednesday by the secretary general of the 
Organization of American States and regional foreign ministers.

Victor Rico, an OAS official organizing the summit, told reporters 
Sunday that he saw reason for ''reasonable optimism'' with the 
discussions in recent days.

''I think the moment has arrived that all sides start to think about the 
suffering that this is causing for the Honduran people.''





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