As the BBC has reported, “Leftist candidate Gabriel Boric has won Chile's presidential election to become the country's youngest ever leader … In what was expected to be a tight race, the 35-year-old former student protest leader defeated his far-right rival José Antonio Kast by 10 points … Mr Boric told supporters he would look after democracy, promising curbs on Chile's neoliberal free market economy”. There was more.
“His rival [José Antonio Kast], meanwhile, stood on a platform of law and order, pledging cuts to tax and social spending. Mr Kast also defended the legacy of Gen Pinochet, who took power in a coup and ruled the country from 1973 to 1990. Under his leadership more than 3,000 people were murdered by the state or disappeared”.
So what say the Jerusalem Post? “Anti-Zionist Gabriel Boric's presidential win leaves Chile's Jews worried … Gabriel Boric called Israel a ‘murderous state’ in a meeting with Chile's Jewish community during his campaign … the election results are viewed negatively by Chile's Jewish community due to Boric's outspoken anti-Zionist stance”.
Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, although Zionism or Zionist is often used as an insulting and pejorative term against Jews. Also, equating criticism of the actions of the state of Israel with being anti-Jewish is wrong - the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism says so. Maybe there is something more we need to know in order to inform our response.
Like “Boric has previously supported a drafted bill in Chile's National Congress calling for a boycott of goods, services and products from Israeli settlements”. He supports BDS, which has been characterised as anti-Semitic, but without much in the way of actual evidence. Boric has also “signed a statement of support to the Palestinian cause in a meeting with the president of the 350,000-strong Palestinian community of Chile”.
Moreover, although the JP claims that Chile’s Jewish community is “worried” by Boric winning, it does not quote one Jewish voice in support of that assertion, Chilean or otherwise. Also, as has been pointed out, “Not only is Kаst a Pinochet supporter & a Nazi's son, he wants to pardon Miguel Krаssnоff, a Nazi collaborator's son & Pinоchet official who personally tortured Diana Aron to death because she was Jewish”.
And as Sunny Singh reminded us, “‘If he were alive, he would have voted for me,’ Kast said of Pinochet during the 2017 campaign, in which he won just 8% of the vote. ‘We would have had tea together’ in the presidential palace”. Yet here is the Jerusalem Post turning its fire on the man who beat him. While quoting no sources at all.
It is as if being left-wing makes someone a legitimate target for claims of anti-Semitism. Even though, as has to be pointed out again and again, the vast majority of anti-Semitic behaviour has always come from the far-right, continues to come from the far-right, and probably always will come from the far-right. Like the bloke who lost in Chile.
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