Amid an increasing concern over anti-Semitism in Chile, in addition to a warm visit by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, the South American country is under fire for not responding to a poster showing blood dripping from the conductor of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Yeruham Scharovsky.
The group, currently on a concert tour in Latin America, is scheduled to perform next Monday in Chile’s capital of Santiago.
The visualization accuses Israel of being a genocidal “apartheid” state developing technology and culture to cover up its supposed crimes. The poster has been circulated by an organization claiming to represent the more than 300,000 Chileans of Christian Palestinian descent, which is the largest Palestinian community outside of the Middle East.
“This is nothing less than a blood libel perpetrated by the Palestinian Federation of Chile, which has adopted Hamas-style propaganda in demonizing the Jewish state and her supporters in the Jewish community in Chile,” Simon Wiesenthal Center associate dean Abraham Cooper and Latin American representative Ariel Gelblung protested in a statement.
They added, “Against the backdrop of continuing violence in Gaza orchestrated by Hamas, the vile propaganda spread by the Palestine Federation of Chile—left unchallenged—could lead to attacks against the Jewish community.”
“We expressed our concerns during a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Carolina Valdivia who pointed out to us that Jews and Palestinians have lived peacefully in Chile for generations,” said Cooper and Gelblung. “But all parties agreed that the situation had changed with the introduction of such vile anti-Jewish hatred.”
SWC also mentioned the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement spreading on Chilean college campuses, barring Israeli academics. “Many Jewish students have expressed concerns about the environment of intimidation that they often confront on these campuses,” said Cooper and Gelblung.
An estimated 16,000 Jews currently live in Chile.