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News > Latin America

Chilean-Palestinians Slam Pro-Israel Lobby in Chile

  • People rally in Santiago, Chile, on Aug. 2, 2014, to protest against Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.

    People rally in Santiago, Chile, on Aug. 2, 2014, to protest against Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. | Photo: AFP

Published 21 June 2017

The incident comes in the wake of a recent pushback against Palestine solidarity activists in Chile.

The Chilean-Palestinian community is decrying pro-Israel adverts in the country’s national press, Hispan TV reported.

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The ad in the Chilean newspaper, El Mercurio, came in response to another one published by Palestinian activists in the country, in both El Mercurio and El Observado newspaper, that denounced “50 years of occupation and apartheid in Palestine.”

The incident comes in the wake of a pushback against Palestine solidarity activists in Chile and their involvement in the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions movement. After El Mercurio published a piece by academic Joaquin Garcia-Huidobro who criticized BDS, the Palestinian Federation of Chile published a response.

The advert by the Palestinian Federation of Chile. It reads "Would you like to be rubbed off the map?"

Dismissing Garcia-Huidobro as unable to understand the “experience of being helpless and at the mercy of Israeli arms,” the group defended the movement, saying, “When a people bleeds for several decades under military occupation, condemned in all international forums, but unpunished, and the institutions of the occupying country collaborate with the occupation, there is no other resource.”

In addition, a recent soccer match between Estadio Israelita Maccabi team and Club Palestino as part of an amateur league was transformed into an aggressive dispute between the two communities.

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After Jewish members from Estadio Israelita Maccabi leveled accusations of anti-Semitism against the Palestinian players during the match, graffiti was found at the headquarters of Club Palestino, with slogans such as “Arab terrorists,” “Palestine doesn’t exist” and “Am Yisrael Chai” next to a Star of David.

In response, the Jewish community of Chile filed a legal complaint on Friday against the anti-Semitic slurs, while Club Palestino denounced the graffiti, slamming it as a “cowardly aggression.”

According to Radio ADN, the Jewish community also condemned the graffiti and expressed solidarity with the Palestinian community.

The publication of the pro-Israel lobby ads isn't the first time Chile's El Mercurio has sparked controversy. According to declassified CIA and White House documents, the conservative El Mercurio newspaper was critical in helping set the stage for the 1973 coup in Chile and ensuring the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet assumed power.

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