A former Chilean presidential candidate who continues to serve as mayor of one of the biggest districts in the country’s capital, Santiago, was at the center of accusations of antisemitism on Thursday after he made a speech arguing that being Jewish is incompatible with a left-wing political stance.
Daniel Jadue — mayor of Santiago’s Recoleta district and the Communist Party’s candidate in the 2021 presidential election — made the remarks at an event last week to launch a screed by a far left writer titled “Zionism: The Ideology That Exterminates.”
Warmly endorsing the book in his comments at the launch, Jadue stated that he had held what he described as “fraternal discussions” with left-wing Jews in which he insisted that Jewish identity necessarily involves “supremacist” ideas.
“For me it is a contradiction to be on the left and assume yourself Jewish, because being Jewish is part of a conception that has to do with a supremacist conception of being part of a chosen people; so if you are already part of a chosen people, you do not believe in the equality of all human beings before anything, right?” Jadue, who has a long record of inflammatory remarks against Jews and Zionism, declared.
He went on to add: “I think we are dealing here with an ideology that is the most Nazi that I have seen in my life.”
Jadue’s speech stirred fury among left-wing Jews in Chile. A joint statement from two veteran members of the Communist Party, Carmen Hertz and Miguel Lawner, said that it was “inconceivable” that he could draw such conclusions given that he had participated in “so many struggles” alongside Jewish militants.
“The Communist Party of Chile is proud of having had in its ranks many people of Jewish origin who, in some cases, gave their lives for the noble cause they supported throughout their lives,” the statement continued.
Lawner — an architect who was jailed during the 1973-81 military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet — later told the Argentine news outlet infobae that he had planned to attend the book launch but canceled because of illness.
“The worst thing is that I was invited to the launch of that book,” he said. “And I didn’t go only because I got sick and had to excuse myself.”
Separately, a statement signed by more than 200 left-wing Jews argued that Jadue had displayed “manifest conceptual ignorance and intellectual poverty” in an attempt “to erase the historical contribution that Jews have made for centuries … in the fight for a more humane, just, and united world.”
The statement went on: “Despite these expressions of Judeophobia, we will continue to affirm our Jewish identity and our values, which are politically expressed in progressive and left positions.” It added that Jadue was “legitimizing the foundations of antisemitism, whose growth worries us.”
An opinion piece in the Chilean daily El Mostrador — titled “Comrade Daniel Jadue, Shalom!” — asserted that Jadue’s comments had regurgitated classic antisemitic tropes about Jews.
“Jadue does not need to be reminded that there are left-wing Jews. What he seeks, as part of the more traditional antisemitic thinking, is to create a division between ‘good’ Jews and ‘bad’ Jews,” wrote the author of the piece, Prof. Daniel Chernilo, who teaches in the government department of the Adolfo Ibáñez University in Santiago. “Both were present medieval Christianity: while the good decided to convert to Catholicism — out of fear, conviction, or strategy — the latter stubbornly maintained their religious practices.”
A product of Chile’s emigre Palestinian community — at 300,000, the largest Palestinian diaspora outside of the Middle East — Jadue was, for much of 2021, the frontrunner in an election that was eventually won by Gabriel Boric of the left-wing Broad Front, himself a visceral opponent of Israel and Zionism.
During that campaign, Jadue was denounced in a parliamentary resolution on antisemitism after details emerged of a high-school year book entry that appeared to celebrate his antisemitic convictions as a teenager.
Written in a humorous and affectionate style by Jadue’s fellow students, the year book entry noted his desire to “cleanse the city of Jews,” and suggested that a suitable gift would be “a Jew for him to use as target practice.”
In 2020, the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) included Jadue on its “top ten” list of global antisemitic incidents, citing his record of antisemitic and anti-Zionist rhetoric targeting Chilean Jews. Past comments include accusing Chilean Jewish leaders of being “agents of Israel … importing the strife” and remarking, “I get along very well with Jews; it’s Zionists I have certain problems with.”
Chile’s official Jewish communal organization also joined in the condemnation of Jadue. In a statement, the Jewish Community of Chile (CJCH), which represents the country’s 16,000 Jewish citizens, situated Jadue’s comments in the broader context of “attacks against Jews, threats, and the vandalizing of synagogues throughout Chile” since the Hamas pogrom in southern Israel on Oct. 7.
“Jadue does not attack the left Jews, Jadue, as always, attacks all the Jews. Only this time no one is willing to remain silent,” the statement added, referring to the criticism leveled against Jadue.
The post ‘It Is a Contradiction to Be Jewish and on the Left’: Chilean Jews Slam Santiago Mayor’s Comments first appeared on Algemeiner.com.
Treasure Trove: Remembering Yoni Netanyahu, a heroic soldier and leader
Jonathan (Yoni) Netanyahu was the older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister. He was the commander of the Entebbe Operation on July 4, 1976 when Israel rescued 102 hostages who had been on a flight hijacked by Palestinian and German terrorists and ordered to land in Entebbe, Uganda. Yoni was the only Israeli soldier killed in […]
The post Treasure Trove: Remembering Yoni Netanyahu, a heroic soldier and leader appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.
Pope Condemns Anti-Judaism, Antisemitism Amid New Wave of Attacks Against Jews
Pope Francis condemned all forms of anti-Judaism and antisemitism, labeling them as a “sin against God,” after noticing an increase in attacks against Jews around the world.
“(The Church) rejects every form of anti-Judaism and antisemitism, unequivocally condemning manifestations of hatred towards Jews and Judaism as a sin against God,” the pontiff wrote in a letter to the Jewish population of Israel dated Feb. 2 and made public on Saturday.
“Together with you, we, Catholics, are very concerned about the terrible increase in attacks against Jews around the world. We had hoped that ‘never again’ would be a refrain heard by the new generations,” he added.
The Pope noted that wars and divisions are increasing all over the world “in a sort of piecemeal world war,” hitting the lives of many populations.
Francis, 87, has condemned Hamas’ Oct. 7 cross-border attack from Gaza into southern Israel. He has also said on several occasions that a two-state solution was needed to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In his letter, the pope also called, once again, for the release of those hostages still being held by militants.
He said his heart was torn at the sight of the conflict in the Holy Land and the division and hatred stemming from it, adding that the world was looking at the unfolding of events in the area with “apprehension and pain.”
He assured the Jewish community of his closeness and affection, “particularly (those) consumed by anguish, pain, fear and even anger,” repeating his call for the end of the war.
Francis said he prayed for peace. “My heart is close to you, to the Holy Land, to all the peoples who inhabit it, Israelis and Palestinians, and I pray that the desire for peace may prevail in all.”
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Israel Says It Has Struck More than 50 Hezbollah Targets in Syria Since Oct 7
The Israeli military said on Saturday that since the outbreak of the Gaza war on Oct. 7 it had struck more than 50 targets in Syria linked to the Iranian-backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.
The remarks, in a briefing by chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari that mainly discussed efforts to beat back Hezbollah attacks launched in solidarity with Hamas, were a departure from Israel’s usual reticence about Syria operations.
“Everywhere Hezbollah is, we shall be. We will take action everywhere required in the Middle East,” Hagari said.
Israeli forces have attacked 34,000 Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, including 120 border surveillance outposts, 40 caches of missiles and other weaponry and more than 40 command centers, Hagari said. He put the number of enemy dead at more than 200.
Hagari said Israel had deployed three army divisions along its side of the Lebanese border in anticipation of Hezbollah getting involved after Palestinian Hamas launched a shock cross-border attack on Oct. 7, triggering the war in the Gaza Strip.
With tens of thousands of its northern residents having evacuated, Israel has threatened to escalate the Lebanon fighting unless Hezbollah backs off from the border – and has sought Western help in finding a diplomatic solution in Beirut.
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