More on the vandalism in Caracas...
They stole computers with information about the Jewish community in Venezuela...
Ruben Kliksberg awoke Saturday morning questioning everything he had once assumed about the security of the Jewish community in his native Venezuela.
The Caracas-born, American-educated hedge fund employee says the country's Jews, like their American counterparts, are well integrated and contribute “massively” to their society. His father was awarded a government honor for his work combating poverty.
“I woke up on Saturday morning and all of that had changed in six hours,” Klisberg told JTA.
The six hours in question had begun late the night before, on Jan. 30, when 15 armed men invaded the Tiferet Israel Synagogue in the Venezuelan capital Caracas. In an apparently well-organized operation, they overpowered the synagogue's security before proceeding to scrawl hostile messages to the Jewish community on the walls and desecrate religious objects.
Kliksberg, now a New York resident, spoke during a rally Monday opposite the Venezuelan Consulate here. Like several American Jewish groups, he pointed a finger at the government of Hugo Chavez, accusing the Venezuelan president of imperiling the Jewish community with rhetoric that has fostered an atmosphere of intimidation.
Both Kliksberg and American Jewish leaders said they were alarmed about the possibility of future attacks because the intruders stole computers and administrative documentation.
David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, sounded a vague warning about the intentions of the vandals.
“They wanted information from the synagogue about the Jewish community,” Harris said in his speech at the rally. “They wanted names and addresses. Why? Why? Why in 2009 would people seek that information? You know and we know, and we have to say 'no' by our presence and by our voices.”