Chile’s New President Has Already Made Clear That His Hostility toward Zionism Extends to Jews

December 21, 2021 | Ben Cohen
About the author: Ben Cohen, a New York-based writer, has contributed essays on anti-Semitism and related issues to Mosaic and other publications.

On Sunday, the young, far-left candidate Gabriel Boric was elected president of Chile. A committed anti-Zionist, Boric has previously described Israel as a “genocidal and murderous state,” an opinion he stood by in a more recent interview. Ben Cohen writes that many of the country’s 18,000 Jews are worried about what Boric’s election might bring, and with good reason:

Several Jewish groups posted screenshots of Boric’s response to a gift from the Chilean Jewish community in October 2019 in honor of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, in which he suggested that his Jewish fellow citizens were accountable for Israeli policies towards the Palestinians.

“The Jewish community of Chile sent me a jar of honey for the Jewish new year, reaffirming its commitment to ‘a more inclusive, supportive, and respectful society,’” Boric tweeted at the time. “I appreciate the gesture, but they could start by asking Israel to return illegally occupied Palestinian territory,” he continued.

Boric has also drafted legislation in Chile’s parliament imposing a boycott of goods and services produced by Jewish communities located in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. During his election campaign, Boric enthusiastically reaffirmed this position at a meeting with leaders of the 350,000-strong Palestinian community in Chile—the largest Palestinian diaspora outside of the Middle East and one with heavy political clout.

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