Mr. Foxman addresses a very important point and his concern is shared by many. Venezuela is a country to be reckoned with and it certainly deserves to enjoy and embrace the highest values of democracy and human rights.
I have recently read an appealing book written by two Argentinean-born pedagogues based in Israel: Prof. Jaime Krejner and Margarita Wolman-Krejner. Both have dedicated their lives to education and to interfaith dialogue through their collaboration with Casa Argentina en Israel – Tierra Santa.
The Krejner’s book is entitled ”Tierra Santa y el Nuevo Mundo durante el Imperio Otomano” (The Holy Land and the New World during the Otoman Empire). This book compiles the fascinating and little-known stories of travelers from Spain, Portugal and Latin America to the Holy Land, from the XV to the XX centuries. One of the chapters is dedicated to the Venezuelan General and writer Rafael de Nogales Mendes who fought alongside the Turks during the First World War and had spent many years in the Holy Land. General Nogales Mendes was probably the first Venezuelan to have set foot on the Holy Land and he was amazed by the country and by its people. In his books, he wrote about his thrilling experiences in the land of Israel and since he was a humanist, he provided the world with a first hand account of the Armenian genocide (despite his admiration for Turkey).
The people of Venezuela have grown under the multicultural tradition set by General Nogales Mendes, who did not judge people by their creed, color or religion.
We, at the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, an NGO devoted to preserve and divulge the legacy of Raoul Wallenberg and the other saviors of the Holocaust, believe and hope that Venezuela will follow the spiritual egacy of General Nogales Mendes.
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation
February 5, 2008