AJC urges Bolivian president to stem rising tide of anti-Semitism

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The American Jewish Committee called on Bolivian President Eva Morales to halt the rise of violent anti-Semitism in his country.

In the most recent anti-Semitic act, on Sept. 13, a dynamite attack damaged the main Jewish cemetery in the capital city of La Paz.

“President Morales’ hostility towards Israel has encouraged regular attacks against the country’s Jewish population in the media and violent attacks on Jewish institutions,” Dina Siegel Vann, AJC’s director of Latino and Latin American Affairs, said in a statement Thursday. “This is a very dangerous trend that only the government can and should vigorously turn back and end.”

During Israel’s Gaza operation this summer, Morales called Israel a “terrorist state” and renounced Bolivia’s visa exemption agreement with Israel that had been in place since 1972.

Morales severed diplomatic ties with Israel in January 2009, calling its treatment of Palestinians “a genocide.”