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July 23, 2014 17

Anti-Israel Protests in South America

Over the past ten days, there have been sev­eral anti-Israel demon­stra­tions through­out Latin Amer­ica protest­ing Israel’s mil­i­tary action in Gaza, known as Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge, some with mes­sag­ing that crossed the line into anti-Semitism. At protests, signs com­par­ing Israel to the Nazis were seen, par­tic­i­pants spoke about Israel com­mit­ting geno­cide and eth­nic cleans­ing against Pales­tini­ans in Gaza, and calls were issued on gov­ern­ments to break rela­tions with Israel.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Argen­tin­ian Com­mit­tee of Sol­i­dar­ity with Pales­tine orga­nized a protest out­side the Israeli Embassy where dozens of social, polit­i­cal, human rights and stu­dent groups par­tic­i­pated. Tilda Rabi, Pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­a­tion of Argentine-Palestinian Enti­ties, requested that the Argen­tin­ian gov­ern­ment break rela­tions with the Israeli gov­ern­ment, remove Israel from the Free Trade Agree­ment with MERCOSUR, and stated that Argentina can­not be an accom­plice to Israel’s “war crimes”.

In La Paz, Bolivia, a demon­stra­tion took place on July 11, where Israeli flags were burned and pro­tes­tors were over­heard say­ing “Enough with the geno­cide, Zion­ist State of Israel, for your polit­i­cal inter­ests. They killed thou­sands of inno­cent people…”

In San­ti­ago, Chile, a “We Are Pales­tine” protest took place on Sat­ur­day, July 19th where a num­ber of groups protested in front of the Israeli and United States embassies. Omar Salame, Pres­i­dent of the Union of Pales­tin­ian Stu­dents in Chile, said “Pales­tin­ian peo­ple are a vic­tim of geno­cide,” and Chafik Lasen, Pres­i­dent of the group “Pales­tine For All” said “Pales­tini­ans, we are suf­fer­ing from geno­cide by the ter­ror­ist state of Israel, the largest ter­ror­ist state in the world.” Signs read­ing “Sion­ismo (Zion­ism) = Nazism” were dis­played at the demon­stra­tion. Mem­bers of the Chilean Jew­ish com­mu­nity report expe­ri­enc­ing harassment.

In Arau­ca­nia, Chile, Romina Tuma, the daugh­ter of Sen­a­tor Euge­nio Tuma, led an anti-Israel protest where around 200 peo­ple par­tic­i­pated. The protest used the slo­gan “End the Mas­sacre Against the Pales­tin­ian Peo­ple,” and Tuma said that Israelis “are geno­ci­dal.” Israeli flags with a swastika and signs say­ing “Zion­ism = Nazism” were vis­i­ble at the protest. In addi­tion, pro­tes­tors put red paint on an Israeli flag and later burned it.

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