As the tense political stalemate in Honduras continues, there are troubling signs that the current crisis has given rise to anti-Semitism and disturbing anti-Zionist conspiracy theories.
The stalemate has led to charges from political leaders, media pundits and other key figures in the country that Israel and Jews were behind the ouster and intimidation of President Manuel Zelaya and that they are in cahoots with the de facto president, Robert Micheletti.
These charges have emerged despite the fact that Honduras has a tiny Jewish community, does not even have a permanent rabbi and does not have an Israeli embassy.
Examples of conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic statements that have emerged from the situation in Honduras include:
- False allegations spewed by President Zelaya that Israeli mercenaries are trying to assassinate him;
- Remarks by the Director of Radio Globo that Hitler should have “finished his job” with the Jews;
- False claims by President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and other Zelaya supporters that Israel was the only country in the world to recognize Micheletti’s de facto government.
It is unacceptable that a domestic political conflict is being blamed on the “other,” in this case, Jews.
In contrast, it was encouraging to hear, as reported by the local media in Honduras, the remarks of Adolfo Facusse, the president of the National Industrial Association in Tegucigalpa. In reaction to the anti-Semitic rants on Radio Globo, Facusse, a Honduran-Arab national, stated that “Jews are our cousins and we will not tolerate such language.”
This report provides English-language translations of anti-Semitic statements and conspiracy theories involving Israel which are a backdrop of the current crisis in Honduras.