'We Respect and Love the Jewish People'

Particularly smart commentary on Fidel Castro from the Boston Globe's Alan Berger. Read the whole thing, but this part captures something important: Fidel's continuing influence on a broad array of world leaders:

Given Castro's history of opposition to America and Israel, it is all the more remarkable that he repeatedly castigated Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust and counseled Iran to acknowledge the "unique'' history of anti-Semitism. In a conference call Monday, Goldberg said "the idea of Holocaust denial seems genuinely to offend'' Castro.

Whatever his personal feelings about the matter, Castro was drawing a bright line between himself and Ahmadinejad. At the same time, he was giving a lesson to his foremost student, Chávez, in the putative difference between progressive and reactionary values. Chávez has tolerated and even promoted virulent anti-Semitism in Venezuela. But a day after Castro's condemnation of Ahmadinejad's anti-Semitism, Chávez said he would meet with Jewish community leaders and declared: "We respect and love the Jewish people.''

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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