Gabriel Boric, 36, the youngest Chilean president ever elected, declined Thursday morning to receive Israel’s new ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, who had been summoned to the Chilean presidential palace to present his credentials.
The news was reported by the Chilean newspaper ex anteHowever, the Chilean government denied this, stating that the handing over of the diplomatic letters had only been postponed: “It is not that he was suspended, but that he was asked to postpone it until the second week of October.” ex ante confirmed the decision was being considered: “Due to Israel’s killing of children during the recent escalation in the West Bank and increased Israeli military activity against Palestinians.”
The Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in response to a question from ex ante, stated: “The presentation of Israel’s credentials has been moved to the second week of October because today is a very sensitive day due to the murder of a boy in the West Bank.” Artzyeli claims that the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs has apologized to him and the Israeli government for the delay.
Boric’s refusal to host Israel’s new ambassador was warmly welcomed by the Palestinian community in Chile. The Palestinian Community hastened to praise Boric’s decision through a statement signed by its president, Maurice Khamis Massu. The statement read: “The Palestinian Community of Chile attaches great importance to President Gabriel Boric Font’s decision to postpone the diplomatic credentials ceremony of the new Israeli ambassador to Chile because the Israeli occupation army has arrested the minor Oday Salah of Kafr Dan in Jenin, occupied Palestinian territories.”
Massu also thanked the president for his continued support for Palestine: “We firmly believe that as long as the world continues to treat Israel and its diplomats as normal, the situation of the Palestinians will not improve. Israel systematically commits war crimes, crimes against humanity, human rights violations and subject the Palestinian population to an apartheid regime.”
READ: Israel reprimands Chilean envoy for canceling ambassador’s graduation ceremony
In an interview with MEMOMassu said: “We, as the Palestinian Community of Chile, appreciate the president’s decision to postpone the diplomatic ceremony on the same day the Israeli army killed a Palestinian boy in the West Bank. We believe that as long as war crimes, humane”
Frente a grave incident diplomático en que presidente @gabrielboric no recibió cartas credenciales de @Gil_Artzyeli, la Com. Judia, expresa su repudio. This is an experience of 70 years in Chile and Israel. Esperamos rectificación del @GobiernodeChile @IsraelinChile
— Comunidad Judia de Chile (@comjudiachile) September 15, 2022
Following President Boric’s decision, anger was widespread among Jewish communities in Chile and abroad, expressing fears over the Chilean president’s future actions. According to Israel, it reprimanded Chilean ambassador to Tel Aviv Jorge Carvajal, who apologized to Ambassador Artzyeli and his family on behalf of the Chilean government.
Sources from the Jewish Community of Chile (CJC) stated: “There is no precedent in the history of the CJC as serious as this. It is possible that the Israeli government will make a diplomatic protest.”
Gabriel Zaliasnik, former president of Chile’s Jewish community, affirms that President Boric’s gesture to deny the credentials of the Israeli ambassador to Chile is the most serious reflection of the president’s hostility towards Israel he has shown since he took office. deputy. “Not only does it insult the Jewish community in Chile, which has contributed to the development of the country for hundreds of years, but it also embarrasses those who value democracy and freedom by despising a country that embraces democracy and freedom. and the close relations with the two countries,” Zaliasnik told ex ante.
Zaliasnik also adds in his interview with ex ante“Unfortunately, the president is dragging Chilean foreign policy and the 70-year relationship between Chile and Israel into uncharted territory. He is misaligning Chilean foreign policy that has been open for years with Europe, Canada and the United States.” Zaliasnik hopes President Boric: “Gives the Jewish community a sufficient explanation and apologies for this insult to which it has no name.”
Boric is known as a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause and a defender of human rights, which are constantly being violated in the occupied territories. On more than one occasion, Boric branded Israel a “genocidal” and “murderous” state. Boric’s pro-Palestinian stance was conveyed in an interview with Vivo TV Chile during his campaign, “No matter how much power that country has, we need our foreign policy to defend human rights with all our might, regardless of government.”
The views expressed in this article are the property of the author and do not necessarily reflect Middle East Monitor’s editorial policy.