Polémica en Chile: Gabriel Boric se negó a recibir las cartas credenciales del embajador de Israel / In grave breach of protocol, Chile’s president refuses credentials of Israeli envoy

El presidente chileno postergó la reunión con Gil Artzyeli y provocó un fuerte malestar en Tel Aviv

Un posible conflicto diplomático entre Chile e Israel se avecina luego de que el presidente Gabriel Boric se negara a recibir las cartas credenciales del nuevo embajador israelí en el país andino, Gil Artzyeli.

Según consigna el medio chileno Ex-Ante, altas fuentes diplomáticas y de la comunidad israelita en Chile revelaron que el jefe de Estado se rehusó esta mañana a recibir en el Palacio de la Moneda al embajador israelí. De acuerdo a la explicación de esas fuentes, la razón estaría vinculada a acciones del Ejército israelí en la Franja de Gaza.

Autoridades gubernamentales indicaron a ese medio que lo ocurrido se trata de una “postergación” para octubre. “No es que se le haya suspendido, sino que se le pidió postergar dado que ocurrió un incidente con niños en Gaza”, comentaron desde el gobierno.

Un joven de 17 años murió este jueves por una bala en la cabeza durante enfrentamientos que tuvieron lugar en la región de Yenín, en el norte de Cisjordania ocupada.

Gabriel Boric, presidente de Chile (Fernando Ramirez/Chile Presidency/Handout via REUTERS)

“Se reagendó la presentación de cartas credenciales de Israel para la segunda semana de octubre, porque hoy es un día muy sensible por la muerte de un menor en la Franja de Gaza”, expresaron desde Cancillería.

“¡Sin precedentes! En violación del protocolo diplomático, el presidente Gabriel Boric se negó a aceptar las credenciales del Emb. Gil Artzieli. Boric debe disculparse o arriesgarse a un daño irreparable a la relación chileno-israelí, sus lazos con la comunidad judicial chilena y la reputación mundial de su país”, señaló el Comité Judío Americano.

Fuentes de la Cancillería confirmaron a la agencia EFE que tras el episodio, la subsecretaria de Relaciones Exteriores chilena, Ximena Fuentes, se reunió con el embajador israelí.

Por otra parte, según la prensa, el embajador de Chile en Israel, Jorge Carvajal, recibió un llamado de la Cancillería israelí para manifestar su molestia por la actitud del presidente Boric.

El episodio ha generado tensión diplomática entre ambos países. La senadora Carmen Gloria Aravena, presidenta del Grupo Parlamentario de Amistad Chile-Israel, que conforman otros 14 senadores de distintas bancadas, declaró que lo ocurrido “no sólo es un agravio para un país con el que Chile ha mantenido una larga y estrecha amistad, sino que además pone en riesgo las relaciones bilaterales con esa nación”.

Aravena, ex militante del partido de derechas Evópoli, aseguró que “no tiene recuerdos de un incidente tan grave que haya tenido Chile en materia de política exterior en el último tiempo” y solicitó al Gobierno y a Boric que pidan disculpas formales a Israel.

Con más de 500.000 personas, Chile es el país con la mayor comunidad palestina fuera del mundo árabe.

(Con información de Ex-Ante y EFE)

Chile’s President Gabriel Boric speaks during a ceremony introducing new cabinet members in Santiago, Chile, September 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)

In grave breach of protocol, Chile’s president refuses credentials of Israeli envoy

Gabriel Boric reportedly spurns new ambassador over Israel ‘killing children in Gaza,’ threatening profound harm to relations between the countries

In a severe diplomatic incident, Chile’s president, a bitter critic of Israel, on Thursday refused to accept the credentials of new Israeli Ambassador Gil Artzyeli.

President Gabriel Boric’s spurning the Israeli envoy appeared to be a grave breach of diplomatic protocol and threatened to cloud relations between the two countries.

Boric rebuffed Artzyeli after being angered by the Israeli military killing a 17-year-old Palestinian during clashes with gunmen in the West Bank overnight, Ynet reported.

In a severe diplomatic incident, Chile’s president, a bitter critic of Israel, on Thursday refused to accept the credentials of new Israeli Ambassador Gil Artzyeli.

President Gabriel Boric’s spurning the Israeli envoy appeared to be a grave breach of diplomatic protocol and threatened to cloud relations between the two countries.

Boric rebuffed Artzyeli after being angered by the Israeli military killing a 17-year-old Palestinian during clashes with gunmen in the West Bank overnight, Ynet reported.

Artzyeli had been scheduled to present his credentials to Boric as a formality, but the Chilean government informed him that the ceremony had been canceled because of Israel “killing children in Gaza,” the report said.

Artzyeli had already arrived at the president’s residence for the ceremony, Walla reported.

The Chileans reportedly claimed the refusal was not a punishment of Israel, and that it had been decided to push the ceremony to October, but it was still considered an unprecedented affront.

Artzyeli, who arrived at his post in July, was also summoned for a talk with Chile’s foreign minister earlier Thursday.

There was no immediate response from Israel’s embassy in Chile.

Chile’s Jewish community condemned the refusal as a “serious diplomatic incident.”

The American Jewish Committee slammed the move as “unprecedented” and said Boric must apologize or risk irreparable harm to Israel-Chile ties, his connection to the Chilean Jewish community and Chile’s international reputation.

The left-wing Boric won Chile’s presidency in a landslide victory last year, unnerving the country’s Jewish community.

Boric has a tense relationship with Chile’s 18,000 Jews and has encouraged them to lobby for Israeli territorial concessions.

In 2019, before he was president, the community sent him a Rosh Hashanah gift along with a note expressing a desire for a “more inclusive, respectful society with more solidarity.”

“I appreciate the gesture but they could start by asking Israel to return the illegally occupied Palestinian territory,” Boric wrote after posting a picture of the gift to Twitter.

Boric’s criticism of Israel is longstanding. As a lawmaker, he supported a bill proposing to boycott Israeli goods from the Golan Heights, West Bank settlements and areas of Jerusalem that came under Israeli control in 1967.

During his presidential campaign, many members of the community expressed concern over the boycott, along with what they said was a pattern of demanding that local Jews condemn Israeli policy.

“We are of course willing to accept reasonable criticism about Israel, but what we hear from Boric is that Israel is a ‘genocidal’ and ‘murderous’ state,” Gabriel Zaliasnik, a prominent member of Chile’s Jewish community, told Haaretz during the campaign. “To make matters worse, he blames our Jewish community for Israel’s actions.”

An open letter in 2021 to Boric by 500 Chilean Jewish women said that “we do not believe that it is fair or correct for you to hold the Jews […] responsible for the policies of a government in power in Israel. History is full of examples of unjust accusations or massive blame on our people.”

By TOI STAFF

JTA contributed to this report.