Chile’s Jews are also apprehensive about antisemitic Community Party leader Daniel Jadue, whose support Boric will need.
Gabriel Boric, a far-Left politician hostile to Israel, won Chile’s presidential election on Sunday. His victory may spark debate about the future of the Jewish community in the South American country.
He defeated conservative lawmaker Jose Antonio Kast in a runoff after taking 56 percent of the vote. At the age of 35, Boric will be Chile’s youngest modern-era president when he is sworn into office in March. Press reports describe him as a “progressive millennial.”
Boric will succeed President Sebastian Pinera, whose four-year term ended.
“I am going to be the president of all Chileans,” Boric said in the brief televised appearance with Pinera.
But it’s not clear that Chile’s Jewish community will share that sentiment — for two reasons.
Boric has a history of animosity to Israel.
In one memorable incident that occurred when Boric was a member of Chile’s Chamber of Deputies, the lower house legislature, the Jewish community sent him a jar of honey as a token Rosh Hashanah gift. Boric returned the honey and tweeted, “I appreciate the gesture, but they could have asked Israel to return illegally occupied Palestinian territory.”
He has supported draft legislation to boycott products and services from Israeli settlements and, during a campaign meeting with Jewish leaders, referred to Israel as a “murderous state.”
The Jewish community is also apprehensive about Daniel Jadue, the leader of Chile’s Communist Party, whose support Boric will need. Jadue is of Palestinian descent. His grandparents moved to Chile, though it’s not clear exactly when. He has served as the mayor of Recoleta, a suburb of Santiago, since 2012.
Jadue made the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s “2020 List of Ten Top Antisemites.” While Jadue opposes all trade with Israel and vindicates Hamas terror, more alarming is his long-term goal of stripping Chile’s Jewish community of its citizenship and rights.
According to the center, Jadue’s comments about Chilean Jews having dual loyalties reflect more than just rhetoric.
“Jadue has acknowledged entering Chilean politics after serving as a young militant for the PLO, an organization declared as terrorist by the majority of democratic countries … This explains his justification of Hamas terrorism. Jadue has drafted a Parliamentary roadmap that, if successful, would legalize anti-Semitism and transforms it into state policy,” said Dr. Shimon Samuels, the center’s director of international relations.
More than 350,000 Palestinians live in Chile, making it the largest Palestinian community outside the Mideast.
In an interview with Haaretz before the election, Chilean Jewish businessman Jaime Sinay said that if a Boric-Communist alliance took over Chile, “in a short time, we will become a second Venezuela.” More than 70 percent of Venezuela’s Jews have left the country in recent years because of hyperinflation and sharp rises in starvation, disease and crime.
Boric’s opponent, Jose Antonio Kast, also presented problems for the Jewish community.
Kast was dogged by revelations that his German-born father, Michael Kast Schindele, was a member of the Nazi party during World War II. German documents unearthed during the campaign contradicted Kast’s claim that his father was a forced conscript in the German army. According to Kast’s Jewish supporters, he is friendly to Israel and even if Schindele was a Nazi, Kast was not.
It’s not yet known how the Chilean Jews voted in the runoff.
(United with Israel).