CARACAS, Venezuela (JTA) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called Israel a "genocidal state" during nationally broadcast comments following violent clashes aboard a Gaza-bound flotilla.
Chavez called Israel a "cursed terrorist and murderous state" amid shouts of “Long Live Palestine” during a June 1 speech, the day after Israeli Navy commandos boarded a Gaza-bound ship and nine people were killed in the ensuing violence. He also accused Israel of supporting the local opposition against his government.
One of the nation's top Greek Orthodox events will feature two Jewish speakers. Author Elie Wiesel will be presented with the Athenagoras Humanitarian Award on Saturday night at the Annual Grand Banquet of the Order of St. Andrew.
Wiesel joins former President Jimmy Carter and the late Mother Theresa as past winners of the humanitarian prize.