Monday, 26 Sep 2022 - 1 of Tishri, 5783

Chile’s foreign ministry apologizes to Israel after Chilean President’s decision to postpone meeting to accept credentials of new Israeli ambassador

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The Israeli foreign ministry summoned the Chilean ambassador to Israel on Friday for a “reprimand.”

In its statement,  the Chilean ministry said the postponement should be seen “within the framework of the political sensitivity” caused by the death of a Palestinian teenager during clashes with Israeli security forces in the Jenin area on Sept. 15.

The election of 35-year-old leftist and anti-Zionist  Gabriel Boric as President last December had worried the Jewish community of the South America country. Around 18,000 Jews live in the country.

 

Chile’s acting Foreign Minister has apologized to Israeli officials for holding off the accreditation of Israel’s new ambassador in Santiago.

Chile’s Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ximena Fuentes Torrijo on Saturday called Israeli foreign ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz and apologized as the country’s incoming Ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, was denied the opportunity to submit his credentials as scheduled on September 15.

The Chilean foreign ministry has now scheduled the acceptance of the new Israeli ambassador’s credentials for September 30.

The diplomatic dispute followed a decision by Chilean President Gabriel Boric to postpone a meeting to accept his credentials until October.

In response, the Israeli foreign ministry summoned the Chilean ambassador to Israel, Jorge Carvajal, on Friday for a “reprimand.” During the meeting, the foreign ministry said that Israel’s response “would be made clear.”

In its statement,  the Chilean ministry said the postponement should be seen “within the framework of the political sensitivity” caused by the death of a Palestinian teenager during clashes with Israeli security forces in the Jenin area on Sept. 15.

The Israel Defense Forces said soldiers came under live fire around Jenin during an operation to map out the homes for possible demolition of two Palestinian gunmen who killed an Israeli officer near the Gilboa (Jalame) Crossing, north of Jenin, on Wednesday.

Chile described its postponement of the diplomatic credentials meeting as “exceptional” but reaffirmed what it described as its permanent desire to maintain “a fraternal and constructive relationship” with Israel.

In a video circulated on social networks in October 2021, Boric said that “Israel is a genocidal and murderous state.”

The election of 35-year-old leftist and anti-Zionist Boric last December had worried the Jewish community of the South America country. Around 18,000 Jews live in the country.

Bpric, who was supported by the Chilean communist party, won the second round of presidential elections against his his right-wing rival Jose Antonio Kast.

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.

“I appreciate the gesture, but they could start by asking Israel to return illegally occupied Palestinian territory,” he then said.

Boric also supported a bill calling for a boycott of goods, services and products from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

350,000 Palestinians live in Chile, the largest Palestinian community outside of the Middle East.

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