Anti-Zionist millennial wins Chilean presidency

Gabriel Boric has accused Israel of genocide


SANTIAGO, CHILE - DECEMBER 20: Newly elected President Gabriel Boric speaks with the media after meeting with President of Chile Sebastian Piñera at La Moneda Presidential Palace on December 20, 2021 in Santiago, Chile. Candidate Boric of leftist party Apruebo Dignidad defeated right wing candidate Jose Antonio Kast with 55% of the votes in the run-off. (Photo by Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images)

A leftwing candidate with a history of controversial statements on Israel has become Chile’s new leader after defeating a man many claimed was Chile’s ‘Donald Trump.'

Gabriel Boric’s supporters took to the streets of Santiago and proclaimed a historic victory for the 35-year-old candidate and he received messages of support from prominent leftwing British figures including Jeremy Corbyn.

But some in Chile’s small Jewish community have expressed concern over his win.

Mr. Boric has previously attracted criticism for his stance on Israel and defended his claims that Israel has committed genocide.

During the hotly contested campaign in the country, Mr. Boric referred to the State of Israel as ‘murderous’ in a meeting with the Jewish community as well as signalling his support for the Palestinian cause in a meeting with Chilean-Palestinians.

In a Chilean TV interview, he said: "All the countries that violate international law, such as Israel, China, or Turkey, should respect international norms. It doesn't matter how much power that country has, we need our foreign policy to defend human rights with all its might.”

Mr. Boric, who will become Chile’s youngest-ever president also attracted criticism for a 2019 tweet in which he responded to a Rosh Hashanah gift of honey from Chile’s Jewish community by posting: “ The Jewish Community in Chile sends me a jar of honey for the Jewish New Year, reaffirming its commitment to "a more inclusive, supportive and respectful society." I appreciate the gesture but they could start by asking Israel to return the illegally occupied Palestinian territory.

The leader of the Chilean community in Israel told Israel Hayom: Boric has voted for every bill against Israel, called Israel a murderous state on public television, and consistently supports a boycott of Israel."

Chile is the largest Palestinian ex-pat community in the world and home to over 450,000 Palestinian migrants, many of whom are Christian. The country’s Jewish population is believed to number less than 20,000.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive