UAE just recognized Israel. When will Venezuela?

Last Thursday’s decision by the United Arab Emirates to establish diplomatic relations with Israel ranks as Israel’s biggest diplomatic breakthrough in 26 years. Yet official ties between the Jewish state and another oil-exporting giant, Venezuela, remain in deep freeze ever since the late Hugo Chávez severed them in 2009 — with no hint they’ll be restored anytime soon.

How is it possible that we’ll soon have an embassy in Abu Dhabi — but not in Caracas?

The idea upsets Rabbi Pynchas Brener, who is or isn’t Venezuela’s ambassador to Israel, depending who you ask.

Brener, an 89-year-old great-grandfather, was born in Poland, emigrated with his parents to Peru at the age of 4, and served as the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Venezuela from 1967 to 2011, when he emigrated to the United States as conditions worsened back home.

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