The Anti-Semitic Rebels of Honduras

Since the anti-coup on June 28 last year, when president Zelaya’s self-coup was stopped, I have been told that there is a strong element of anti-Arab (as well as anti-Jew) sentiment among the rebels who support Zelaya (the rebels call themselves “resistencia”). Since both Arabs and Jews are Semitic peoples, they are thus anti-Semitic. However, for lack of enough evidence I have refrained from writing about it. Until now. Except for Radio Globo’s director’s statement on air that it was a pity that Hitler did not succeed in exterminating all Jews, of course.

However, today I came across a collection of graffiti from Tegucigalpa, and in several photos you see the attacks on Arabs.

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"Fuego a los árabes", 'To the fire with the arabs', says this graffiti written by supporters of deposed president Manuel Zelaya (this post originally said "Fuera", 'out', taken from the site I found the picture on, but at closer look it actually says "Fuego", much worse...).

The Arabs they are referring to are Palestinians. During the Ottoman Empire, Christian businessmen from (mostly) Bethlehem came to Honduras to engage in trade. Since they held a Turkish (Ottoman) passport they were called Turks, which was until recently still used as an insult in Honduras (the reverse insult is “Indio”, ‘Indian’). It seems, however, that they have understood that the Palestinians are not Turks but Arabs – at least to language. Strictly speaking the Arabs are the Bedouins of the desert, while Palestinians have a quite different genetic background, with more European ancestry, and occasionally they even have blue eyes (though not blonde hair).

Arabes facistas asesinos, Arabs fascists murderers, proclaims this racist graffiti written by a Zelaya-supporter.

"Arabes facistas asesinos", 'Arabs fascists murderers', proclaims this racist graffiti written by a Zelaya-supporter.

Since these Palestinians came to Honduras they have – through hard work, using their skills as businessmen, and understanding the importance of a good education for their children – managed to become somewhat of an industrial upper class in Honduras. They have created the most successful business town in Central America: San Pedro Sula. There are also a few Jewish families, and in Honduras the Jews and Palestinians are like two branches of the same family.

I guess it is this success that breeds envy, just like the success of the Jews in Europe bred envy that politicians without a conscience exploited over there in the past century. This undercurrent of racism is potentially dangerous, and it has to be curbed by the leaders of any organization where it appears. When will Zelaya speak out against anti-Semitism? When will Chavez speak out against anti-Semitism?

5 Comments

  • Joshua bogart wrote:

    Good luck with Zelaya speaking out against anti-Semitism, His core group of followers (latin left) are very anti-semitic, even before the auto-golpe I often heard recriminations of “Judios” or “Turcos” being behind everything bad in Honduras. Or heard the USA being refered to as “judio internacional”. Zelaya himself refered to ‘agentes Isreali” as being responsible for pumping “radioactive gas” in the Brazilian Embassy where he was holed up. Anti-semitism is a huge part of the leftist movement in Latin America.

  • Oscar wrote:

    Le invito a investigar a fondo las causas del sentimiento anti-arabe en Honduras..
    Los arabes poseeen al igual que sus primos Judios probablemente me ganare el odio de algun Judio o arabe al llamarles primos, virtudes como ser una abnegada dedicacion al trabajo, no podemos negar la contribucion de ellos a la economia y al desarrollo de San Pedro Sula, pero tambien es cierto que uno de los factores para que este crecimiento se diera fue el contrabando, a los arabes no les gusta pagar impuestos, ellos solo le dan dinero a dios.. o probalemente este comportamiento obedezaca a su procedencia, ellos vienen del desierto ahi han vivido por milenios y el desierto no conoce fronteras…

    Honduras es uno de los paises mas corruptos del mundo.. es una verdadera tragedia.. el principal cliente de la empresa privada en Honduras se llama el estado de Honduras. los principales proveedores de ese estado corrupto son.. Arabes.

    Honduras cuenta con la mayor cuenca hidrogafica de America Central, con potencial para abastecer a toda centroamerica de energia y quizas a ciertas zonas del sur de Mexico. pero asustese. el 80% en la matriz de produccion de energia, es energia termica con contratos leoninos.. los dueños de estas empresa son.. ARABES

    Honduras ha sido y sigue siendo en gran parte un pais rural, actualmente los productores de leche que son miles tienen problemas de precios y de reduccion en las compras por parte de las plantas industriales. estos han logrado que el estado de Honduras sea el unico de Centroamerica que tiene aranceles bajisimos a la importacion de leche deshidratada haciendo dumping. ellos dicen que la importan de Mexico, pero hay sospechas de la traen de Nueva Zelanda. los dueños de estas empresas son..ARABES

    Y podria seguir enumerando creo que el sentimiento anti- arabe se lo han ganado ellos mismos por su demasiado apego al dinero.. y un comportamiento despota denigrante con el trabajador ¨Indio¨ es una lastima que se haya llegado a esta situacion, nosotros queremos seguir creyendo que en verdad se sienten Hondureños, pero su comportamiento nos hace creer lo contrario.

    • Ulf Erlingsson wrote:

      Thank you for your comment. It is enlightening to hear what the views are, but I can point out that some of those views are based on misconceptions, as follows:

      The reason for the poor development of hydropower in Honduras is that the world bank system stopped lending money to the governments for this kind of infrastructure developments in the 1980′s, and behind that change of politics is – Ronald Reagan. He’s the one to blame! Honduras had at that time only constructed the small plant at Lago de Yojoa, and the big at El Cajón. Costa Rica had constructed the small at Cachí, and the big at Arenal. However, while ENEE in Honduras stopped building more (they had no money since the government doesn’t pay for electricity), ICE in C.R. continued building using their own money from revenues. That is why C.R. today is much more energy independent, and has a much higher percentage renewable energy. In contrast, Honduras depends on importation of oil – not at least from Chávez’s Venezuela. Which may be a reason why some owner of thermal plants opposed the deposing of Zelaya and the break with ALBA that that would lead to (the fact that he is Arab is irrelevant; an “Indio” owner would have acted exactly the same way in economical self-interest).

      When it comes to milk, that always happens since the dairy farms are small and many, and the plants are few and big. The few get more power than the many. The solution is simple: The farmers have to create a cooperative to process their own products. If the “Indios” get together, they can take back the economical power over their lives. But they have to do that themselves, nobody is going to do it for them.

      The fact that the owners are “Arabs” is irrelevant. It is just that they have more “chispa”, and they are more business savvy. Because they are Palestinians, remember the old Phoenicians, those peoples on the eastern fringe of the Mediterranean have been doing trade since tens of thousands of years. (They are NOT from the desert, they only speak Arabic, but they are Palestinians, not true Arabs, what we call Bedouins are the true Arabs.)

      Envy is a mortal sin, as it does not help. The only thing that helps is to learn, and lift oneself by the bootstraps. That’s what the “Indios” have to do… I mean, it’s not like Honduras lacks a glorious past on which to build a strong image and unite the people. The Maya city of Copán demonstrates that. All it takes is determination to get the job done, without help from nobody.

  • Oscar wrote:

    Es lamentable que el texto que envie se haya alterado.. lo escribi en castellano..
    Totalmente de acuerdo en cuanto a que la envidia es un pecado mortal.
    pero tambien lo es la avaricia, yo se que en la cuspide de los deseos esta lo espiritual, tengo perfectamente claro que tenemos que luchar contra las miserias humanas.
    Un hombre tiene el derecho de agenciarse todas las cosas materiales que se le ocurra obtener, pero no tiene derecho a derribar a otros para obtenerlas.
    Conozco la habilidad en los negocios eso lo se tienen mas de 10 000 años de estar vendiendo y ese es el problema tienen una mentalidad de mercaderes.. y no de empresarios.

    Y aqui doy por terminada la discusion porque usted desconoce la historia de Honduras, la historia antigua y la historia reciente, Honduras no son los mayas.. eso es lo nos han hecho creer..

    Aclaracion mi fenotipo es de un habitante del desierto libio y no de un indio, asi que mi apreciacion no es rascista.

  • Eric wrote:

    Oscar,

    Mientras que Ulf te explico con “pelos y señas” el error en tu planteamiento, vos te limitas a decir que “no conoce la historia reciente de honduras” pero nunca decis a que historia te referis. Yo conozco la historia de los ultimos 33 años de honduras porque como hondureño que soy la he vivido. Si no se la queres explicar a él, explicamela a mi. Porque sinceramente no encuentro ningun fallo en la lógica del señor Erlingson.

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