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Venezuela: Anti-Semitism

Volume 488: debated on Friday 27 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the attack on the Tiferet Israel Synagogue in Caracas on 30 January 2009; and if he will make a statement. (256821)

The attacks on Tiferet Israel Synagogue in Caracas are a significant concern. Reports we have received stated that the Synagogue was attacked by 15 to 20 armed men and women who ransacked and desecrated the building. They also broke into the administration area and stole computers containing databases.

Our ambassador in Caracas has written to the Synagogue’s Rabbi and to the Leader of the Jewish community in Venezuela to express our sympathy and solidarity.

We note the arrest of 11 people accused of the crime. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and encourage all to reject anti-Semitism as it is incompatible with democratic values.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on levels of anti-Semitism in Venezuela; and if he will make a statement. (256822)

We are concerned by a number of reports of anti-Semitism in Venezuela in recent weeks, and welcome the meetings that have taken place between the Venezuelan government and the leaders of the Venezuelan Jewish community to discuss the situation.