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Irwin Cotler vs. reality, round 247

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

Together with a friend, MP Irwin Cotler rose in parliament yesterday to table a petition denouncing "escalating state-backed anti-Semitism in Venezuela".[1]

One wonders if it had anything to do with April Fools' Day because the only incident they mentioned specifically was "the firebombing of a synagogue in Caracas."

The incident had sparked a chorus of condemnation attributing blame to the Venezuelan government, but when Caracas' biggest mosque was subsequently robbed, the Associated Press failed to suggest the sort of grand conspiracies that get Mr. Cotler's juices flowing.

AP noted the mosque was "located in downtown Caracas, where a scant police presence makes robberies and murders relatively common."[2]

As for the ransacking of the Caracas synagogue, the rabbi's bodyguard has since admitted planning the robbery with the help of one of the synagogue's security guards after the rabbi denied him a loan.[3]

Either Mr. Cotler is ignorant of basic facts or his parliamentary statements were a conscious fraud aimed at stoking the myth of growing anti-Semitism in an effort to deflect attention from Israel's escalating state-backed crimes.

[1] House of Commons Debates, vol. 44, no. 38 (1 April 2008), p. 2271

[2] Associated Press, "Venezuela's biggest mosque robbed, official says", 24 March 2009

[3] James Suggett, "Robbery, not Anti-Semitism, motive for attack on Venezuelan synagogue",, 10 February 2009

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