Debate on Antisemitism in Venezuela

 
  • Debate on Antisemitism in Venezuela

    United By Hate
    The uses of Anti-Semitism in Chávez’s Venezuela
    Claudio Lomnitz and Rafael Sánchez
    http://bostonreview.net/BR34.4/lomnitz_sanchez.php

    and a reply:

    A Necessary Critique
    Response to comments on United By Hate: The Uses of Anti-Semitism in Chávez’s Venezuela
    Claudio Lomnitz and Rafael Sánchez
    http://bostonreview.net/BR34.4/lomnitz_sanchez2.php

    »Mir macht die Krise Angst: Wenn man Ratten in einen Käfig sperrt und dann das Bodengitter mit Krisenspannung elektrisiert, fangen sie an, einander totzubeißen. Die Frau an der Supermarktkasse ist noch besoffener als sonst. Mit Recht. Und das größte Rätsel ist, warum es immer noch erwachsene Menschen gibt, die den Kommunismus ablehnen.« ███ Dietmar Dath
    • --SAN-- said...
    • User
    • 3 Aug 2009, 00:53

    [spam]

    [spam]

    Edited by hjbardenhagen on 17 Aug 2011, 06:43
  • @--SAN-- The statements you picked out are for sure debateable, but it is interesting that you took out this one point of "excessiveness" which is none of the key arguments of the criticism of Lomnitz and Sánchez.

    anti-Semitism and homophobia sporadically but consistently emerge as symptoms and instruments of a bigger project, namely, to render any opponent of Hugo Chávez vulnerable to the accusation of being a pawn of devious international interests

    The direct connection that Chávez has tried to forge with (some of) the people further undermines structures of administrative mediation. Opposition and dissatisfaction are therefore constant threats to the presidency itself. In such a scenario, a rhetoric that reduces all political friction to a single cause, to a single common enemy, is useful indeed. However, if history is any guide, ideologies of this sort have an elective affinity with dictatorship rather than democracy. When a regime relies on populism, military uniforms, homophobia, and anti-Semitism, it is time to worry.

    The issue the authors want to adress is the rise of antisemitism in venezuela and how it is supported and how it is precipitated by the government and in the media (e.g. jewish consiracy, equation with hitler). It is also important to realize that the authors are not generally against a critique of israeli politics, but for a critique of anti-semitism and are conscious about the fact that this might be a blurry line.

    The main argument Lomnitz and Sánchez make, form my point of view a very solid one, is that the picture of "the of the jew"/"the other" is a powerful weapon against the opposition to chavismo (they also have some insightful thoughts on the connection of this "othering" with the role of homophobia in chavismo) and is connected to dangerous notions of antisemitism or of "artificial" and "natural" states.

    However, neither can it be said that religion is unimportant. In the war between “the people of love” and “the people of shit,” religious symbolism comes in handy. Consider this: to express solidarity with Palestinians during the recent war in Gaza, Venezuela’s foreign minister led an official delegation, all members donning a keffiyeh, to a Caracas mosque. Venezuelan leftist opposition leader and editor Teodoro Petkoff pointed out that Chávez has reduced the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a war of religion. Chávez identified the Palestinian cause with the cause of Islam (implicitly siding with Hamas over the Palestinian Authority), and identified the Venezuelan nation with Islam, just as he has identified Judaism with the Empire. Chavista graffiti ties the Star of David to the Swastika; it also proclaims that “Islam is our Patrimony.” Chávez’s anti-Semitism is about war, a religious war of sorts. This posture poisons the discussion of the Palestinian-Israeli question, inhibiting a just and productive argument from the left. [...] Presidential indulgence in a politics of denigration also erodes the promise of the Venezuelan progressive movement by making open discussion of the class and race issues that divide the country impossible. Like its distant cousin, Peronism, Chavismo’s reliance on confrontation and brinkmanship extinguishes the possibility of open dialogue on practically any delicate issue. Indeed, the costs of Bolivarian anti-Semitism are at least as heavy for the broader society as they are for the Jewish community; all oppositional discourse is banished to the terrain of the foreign and the treasonous.

    »Mir macht die Krise Angst: Wenn man Ratten in einen Käfig sperrt und dann das Bodengitter mit Krisenspannung elektrisiert, fangen sie an, einander totzubeißen. Die Frau an der Supermarktkasse ist noch besoffener als sonst. Mit Recht. Und das größte Rätsel ist, warum es immer noch erwachsene Menschen gibt, die den Kommunismus ablehnen.« ███ Dietmar Dath
    • --SAN-- said...
    • User
    • 4 Aug 2009, 02:33

    [spam]

    [spam]

    Edited by hjbardenhagen on 17 Aug 2011, 06:43
    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 8 Aug 2009, 20:44
    --SAN-- said:
    has failed to deliver any substantial change.


    Any chance of an elaboration? Pro's and con's if you will.

    • --SAN-- said...
    • User
    • 9 Aug 2009, 01:42

    [spam]

    [spam]

    Edited by hjbardenhagen on 17 Aug 2011, 06:43
    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 10 Aug 2009, 02:00
    Who is the 'ignorant mob'?

    • --SAN-- said...
    • User
    • 10 Aug 2009, 02:38

    [spam]

    [spam]

    Edited by hjbardenhagen on 17 Aug 2011, 06:43
    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 10 Aug 2009, 03:47
    Does the opposition come into it at all? I mean, we're talking about a country that is under constant threat from what are being called seperatist states looking to break away the richer parts of the country. Hostile military bases in neighbouring countries (the US is now in bases in Colombia) and further opposition from Honduras? We've already seen one coup attempt haven't we.

    Was it the ignorant mob who braved the terror of the opposition and put their government back into government?

    • --SAN-- said...
    • User
    • 10 Aug 2009, 08:24

    [spam]

    [spam]

    Edited by hjbardenhagen on 17 Aug 2011, 06:43
    • Okty1 said...
    • User
    • 17 Aug 2009, 02:03
    TheRoses said:
    Does the opposition come into it at all? I mean, we're talking about a country that is under constant threat from what are being called seperatist states looking to break away the richer parts of the country. Hostile military bases in neighbouring countries (the US is now in bases in Colombia) and further opposition from Honduras? We've already seen one coup attempt haven't we.

    Was it the ignorant mob who braved the terror of the opposition and put their government back into government?



    Someone needs to get his facts straight. Separatism and "richer parts" in Venezuela? what a load of bullshit. The rich-poor gap in Venezuela is wide, just as almost every other latin american country, but wealth (and poverty) is distributed almost equally around the territory, except for very small zones in the major cities, and separatism has NEVER been an issue in Venezuela, and the VERY few loonies that have proposed separation do it based on regionalism and historic reasons rather than related to wealth.

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 17 Aug 2009, 05:22
    Would you like to comment on the other aspects?

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 20 Nov 2009, 23:18
    It looks like Chavez is doing what Allende didn't. Where will it all end???

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