Photo: AFP
Chavez. 'Outrageous comment'
Photo: AFP
Israel recalls Caracas ambassador in Chavez protest
Foreign Ministry recalls envoy following Venezuelan president's comments comparing Israel's operation in Lebanon to Hitler's actions
Israel has recalled its ambassador to Caracas following comments made by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez comparing Israel to Hitler, Israel's Foreign Ministry said on Monday.


On August 3, Chavez announced that he had withdrawn Venezuela's ambassador to Israel in protest of the war in Lebanon.


"We have recalled our ambassador to Caracas for consultations," said Ministry spokesman Mark Regev.


"We are concerned at the attitude of Venezuela... They have allied themselves with the most extreme elements in the region."


In an interview with Qatar-based al-Jazeera television last week, Chavez criticized Israel for its attacks on Lebanon and the Palestinians, comparing its operations to those of Hitler.


The day before the interview, Chavez ordered the withdrawal of Venezuela's ambassador to Israel in protest.


Regev said Israel did not appreciate Chavez's allying himself with views similar to those of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for the destruction of Israel.


"We have a Venezuelan president who embraces the Iranian leader who just a couple of days ago called for Israel to be wiped off the map," said Regev.


ADL: Chavez in need of a reality check


The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday condemned Chavez's statement, and called on the Venezuelan President to consider the potential impact of his words closer to home.


“Clearly, President Chavez needs a reality check when it comes to the Middle East conflict,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “It is outrageous for him to suggest that Israel, the home of the Jewish people, is behaving like Nazis. Need we remind Mr. Chavez that the State of Israel, which arose out of the ashes of the Holocaust, once again is fighting to defend itself against an implacable enemy whose goal is the destruction of the Jewish State?”



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