Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has accused Israel of genocide against the Palestinian people, telling a French newspaper that the bombing of Gaza late last year was an unprovoked attack.So, what exactly was Chavez's context? He claims that Israel's Operation Cast Lead was genocide - completely ignoring the reason that Israel responded as it did - the thousands of rockets and mortars fired at Israelis for months.
"The question is not whether the Israelis want to exterminate the Palestinians. They're doing it openly," Chavez said in an interview with Le Figaro published on Wednesday.
The Venezuelan president, who has just completed a tour of Middle Eastern and Arab countries, brushed aside Israeli assertions that its attack on Gaza was a response to rocket fire from Islamist group Hamas which rules the coastal enclave.
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"What was it if not genocide? ... The Israelis were looking for an excuse to exterminate the Palestinians," Chavez said, adding that sanctions should have been slapped on Israel.
Israel launched an offensive against the Gaza Strip on December 27, 2008, with the declared aim of curbing rocket fire from the region into southern Israel.
The land, sea and air assault lasted 22 days, and left some 1,300 Palestinians dead, according to medical sources.
Chavez claims that Israel has a right to exist, but then goes on talking about Palestinian rights, which but for Palestinian fecklessness, would have had a state alongside Israel back in 2000. Palestinians have self-determined, they chose the more extreme Hamas and jihad when Hamas rose to power, and which took over Gaza from Fatah in 2005. From that point forward, Hamas has sought ever more conflict with Israel, with the terror group treating Gazans as nothing more than cannon fodder. For all the claims of 1,200 Palestinians killed, the overwhelming majority were Hamas terrorists, and of the rest, most were killed because Hamas purposefully operated in densely populated areas.
Objectively, Israel is not carrying out genocide. Gaza's population continues growing and but for Palestinian terrorism, the security fence and Israeli military responses would not be necessary. Palestinians aren't wanting for food or anything else, but their leadership continues to agitate for jihad and unending war to secure Israel's destruction.
That's who Chavez sides with, and Iran would love nothing more than to push its own agenda at the same time.