Synagogue Vandalism
ZOA in the news
February 12, 2009




February 12, 2009


Synagogue Vandalism

Your report on the recent attack on the synagogue in Caracas rightly addressed an important issue that is personally poignant for me (“The Last Straw in Venezuela?” Feb. 6).
I traveled extensively throughout Venezuela in the late 1980s and early 1990s, meeting with Israeli diplomats stationed there, Jewish community leaders and Jews from all walks of life. From one and all I heard glowing accounts of the strength, confidence, success and freedom from fear of the Venezuelan Jewish community.
Many of these leaders told me that no place in the world offered a better life for its Jewish community and that the country was singularly free from any anti-Semitism, whatsoever. They legitimately pointed out to me that even American Jewry could not state that it experienced no anti-Semitism.

We now see, unfortunately, how fragile Jewish security can be, no matter how secure the situation may appear. Sadly, Jewish history has repeatedly taught us that painful lesson. It only takes the emergence of one villainous government to alter the political landscape and awaken hidden anti-Jewish feelings the general populace may harbor, leading to the things described in your editorial.

No matter how comfortable Jews may find themselves in some Diaspora communities, we must regrettably draw the conclusion — which could also apply here in the United States — that no Jewish community can ever be 100 percent secure and we must remain ever vigilant. Anti-Semitism, even when put to bed, is often a light sleeper.

Morton A. Klein, National President, Zionist Organization of America

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