News Release

Interviews Available: * Mideast * Venezuela

A member of Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel, Minkin will attend the National Rally in Solidarity with Israel today in Washington at the Capitol. She said today: “There is a growing Jewish movement in this country and around the world working for justice and peace for Israelis and Palestinians.” Ruebner, co-founder of the group, said today: “As Jews who love justice and peace, it’s offensive to us that, in our name, Israel is pursuing policies completely out of line with the truths of Judaism.”
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Members of Voices in the Wilderness, a humanitarian aid group, Kelly and Guntzel are currently in Jenin.
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Chancellor of the Catholic Church in Jerusalem, Abu-Sahlia went to Bethlehem today. He said today: “There is a lot of false information about what is happening at the Church of the Nativity. No one is being held hostage by Palestinian gunmen. Actually, everyone is being held hostage by the Israeli army, which has fired on the Church and is stopping ambulances from going through….” Abu-Sahlia, who writes a regular Internet column “Olive Branch from Jerusalem,” is secretary to the Patriarch of Jerusalem, who met with the Pope today.
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Professor of political science at Webster University in St. Louis and author of Venezuela: Tarnished Democracy, Hellinger said today: “One of the things that provoked the attempted coup is that Chavez was trying to take back power from the state-owned oil company, which he regarded as becoming a state-within-a-state. It’s clear from the U.S. reaction that there was U.S. support for the coup.”

Professor of sociology at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, Lander said today: “This was an attempted military coup with a pro-business government. They attempted to do away with virtually the entire constitutional structure. One of the most important policies of the Chavez government has been the defense of oil prices. The coup included most of the business interests, some sectors of labor and the very important role of the mass media, especially the main newspapers and all the commercial television networks.”

Author of several recent articles on Venezuela, Wilpert is a former Fulbright scholar currently doing independent research at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas.
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Birns is director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs.
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Madsen, a former National Security Agency officer, has written an investigative analysis of U.S. government support for the short-lived Venezuelan coup.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167