Blaming the Jews for the Honduras coup

The Anti-Defamation League has raised the alarm over the use of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric by supporters of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya: "From President Zelaya himself down to media pundits and political activists, there has been a troubling undercurrent of anti-Semitism in the situation in Honduras," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  "We ...

The Anti-Defamation League has raised the alarm over the use of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric by supporters of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya:

"From President Zelaya himself down to media pundits and political activists, there has been a troubling undercurrent of anti-Semitism in the situation in Honduras," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  "We know from history that at times of turmoil and unrest, Jews are a convenient scapegoat, and that is happening now in Honduras, a country that has only a small Jewish minority."

These statements include Zelaya's unsubstantiated claim that Israeli mercenaries were attacking the Brazilian embassy where he has taken refuge. Venezuelan Hugo Chavez has also falsely claimed that Israeli is the only country that has recognized the coup government. More disturbing was a rant from David Romero, news director of the pro-Zelaya Radio Globo, who described Jews as "people that do damage in this country" and mused, "After what I have learned, I ask myself why, why didn't we let Hitler carry out his historic mission?"

The Anti-Defamation League has raised the alarm over the use of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric by supporters of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya:

"From President Zelaya himself down to media pundits and political activists, there has been a troubling undercurrent of anti-Semitism in the situation in Honduras," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  "We know from history that at times of turmoil and unrest, Jews are a convenient scapegoat, and that is happening now in Honduras, a country that has only a small Jewish minority."

These statements include Zelaya’s unsubstantiated claim that Israeli mercenaries were attacking the Brazilian embassy where he has taken refuge. Venezuelan Hugo Chavez has also falsely claimed that Israeli is the only country that has recognized the coup government. More disturbing was a rant from David Romero, news director of the pro-Zelaya Radio Globo, who described Jews as "people that do damage in this country" and mused, "After what I have learned, I ask myself why, why didn’t we let Hitler carry out his historic mission?"

The claims of a Jewish conspiracy are particularly strange since there are almost no Jews in Honduras — only about 100 families.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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