Gamus is the Third Vice-President of the Venezuelan Union Israelita and a
former Deputy of the National Assembly
Hojilla and the Jews, by Paulina Gamus
frequent question that Venezuelan Jews and those from other countries ask me is:
You were a politician and you were never attacked for being Jewish? I recall my
memory and remember three cases since I was born in the San Jose Parish of Caracas, many years ago. The
first one was a playmate of kids’ games-when I was seven or eight years old-who
accused me of having killed Christ.
Since I did
not remember having killed anyone, I asked my mother who told me that because
of that lie the Nazis were killing Jews in Europe:
the Second World War was not over yet. The next day the girl wanted to come and
play to my house, I kicked her out, I never talked to her again and I learned
to defend my condition as a Jew with dignity.
offense came from a high leader of my party, Acción Democrática, who opposed me
entering its executive committee; he gathered the electing delegates and told
them that I was a “Zionist”. This caused me hilarity more than rage, when some
of them, most of them from the provinces, told me that my adversaries were
accusing me of something strange that sounded like communism. I won that
election and became part of the executive committee.
The third one took place during a parliamentary debate about the anti-tobacco
bill: from the speakers position I commented that the project had some
fascistoid aspects and one of the promoters of the bill said from his seat; “What
does that Jew know about fascism?”. When I finished my speech I went up close
to him and told him that it was precisely the Jews who best knew fascism and
not ignorant anti-Semites like him.
I never greeted
him again. Surely there were hundreds or thousands with similar expressions to
discharge their disagreement with my political positions, but at least I never found
out about them.
And what is the relevance of this introduction? I will begin by
recognizing that in the seven years of his profuse and aggressive verbosity,
president Chávez has never refereed to the Jews or the state of Israel neither
in favor nor against. Could it be that the President-in contrast with those
that suffered anti-Semitic prejudices-knows truly what and how the Jews are? For
the majority, even for those that are barely ignorant, the Jews are a sort of
secret society or brotherhood that responds to the same physical, cultural,
ethical, economical and political patterns. The Jews have a curved nose, are
rich, stingy, can not be trusted, do not feel citizens of any country and thus
are not loyal. They constitute an international mafia and are the owners of the
press, movie industry, media in general, of banks and of everything that
signifies power. It is difficult to make them believe that the Jews can be
white or black, decent or indecent, honest or corrupt, poor or rich, dignified
or execrable, dumb or intelligent, ugly or pretty, much like all other human
beings. And above all, that each person is responsible for his or her own acts
and these can not be charged to the community to which that individual belongs.
Of course we do help ourselves and a spirit of solidarity joins us, it could
not be any other way, after what has happened through the millennia.
be a mystery what president Chávez thinks of Jews if it were not for what the
communicators of the regime express, in a regime in which nobody dares to emit
a sound, if it does not have the consent of the great chief.
The official media, be it the press or the digital one and others like
Radio Nacional, Venezolana de Televisión (VTV) and more recently Telesur, broadcast
regularly anti-Jewish programs, even if some pretend to cover it up with the
veil of them being pro-Palestinian. The crowning glory of this (for now) has
been the TV program la Hojilla, transmitted on January 5th. in the official TV
channel VTV and conducted by Mario Silva and Lina Ron. The broadcast was
destined in its totality to question Jonathan Jacubowics, the young Venezuelan director
of the movie Secuestro Express. Did I say Venezuelan? Crass error; for Silva
and Ron, Jonathan is a Jew that dared offend the armed institutions of the
country, his movie was promoted by Miramax in the US because Jews help each
other and Miramax is owned by the Weinstein’s, a Jewish family.
Lina Ron charges again when she claims to be amazed because the CAIV (the international
representation of the Jewish people allows people like Jacubowicz to throw mud
on our country and that the weekly New Israeli world ‘disrespects the country
saying that Caracas
is a city of contrasts a sub world of differences…” Silva adds that even if
it is true that six million Jews died in the Holocaust, nobody talks about the
50 million Russians that died in world war II, because the idea is to only
speak of the Holocaust, the rest is ‘jungle and snakes’ (sic)(irrelevant in Spanish).
The anti-Semitic hate charge of those that made phone calls to the program, had
a much more elevated tone.
On the last December 24th. at a refuge called Manantial de
los Sueños, Chávez said that the wealth of the world is concentrated in the
descendents of those that assassinated Christ; in another context, he confessed
that his daily routine is to watch la Hojilla and since he did not always have
the time, he would watch at least part of it. It is thus reasonable to assume
that the President approves of the program.
The questions then have to be then addressed to President Chavez directly
and not to second rate people: you who have gone around the World complaining
about the racism of the Venezuelan opposition, do you know that anti Jewish
hate is one of the most abominable forms of racism? In the Bolivarian revolution
Venezuelan Jews are equal to the rest of Venezuelans or are we second class
citizens? Does XXIst. Century socialism allow that Venezuelan Jews may think,
dissent, write, give their opinion, be movie makers and even participate in politics?
The Jews that were born, grew up and work in Venezuela, that have grandchildren
like me, born in this country and who have buried their death in this land, can
we continue to live here without staying silent and kneeling ourselves? And
last, this directed to the two from la Hojilla; if instead of being Jewish Jonathan
Jacubowicz had been black, what would be the arguments to attack him?
(By the way, Gamus wrote a
letter in which she states, as a member and third vice-president of the CAIV
that in two successive meetings the majority of the members of the Board of
CAIV voted against sending a letter to the Simon Wiesenthal
Center as was done by its