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December 9, 2018 12:54 pm

Jewish Groups Welcome Chilean Government Decision to Ban Municipal Boycotts of Israel

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The waterfront in the Chilean city of Valdivia. Photo: Arvid Puschnig via Wikimedia Commons.

Top Jewish groups have welcomed a Chilean government decision made earlier this week to ban municipalities across the country from boycotting Israel.

The ruling — issued by the Comptroller General of Chile – stemmed from a complaint filed by the Chilean Jewish community over a move of the Valdivia municipality to ban the city from signing contracts with Israel-linked companies.

“The Chilean government has taken an important lead this week in standing up against the arbitrary anti-Israel bias and double standards taking hold across the international community, in ensuring that its municipalities do not subvert the standards of equal and fair treatment set forth by the federal government,” World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer stated.

“This is a victory not just for the Jewish community and the State of Israel, who have been awarded the protection they deserve, but for the very value of democratic law in Chile as a whole,” he went on to say. “We applaud the Chilean Jewish Community, under the leadership of its President Shai Agosin, for spearheading this critical campaign in the name of justice and fairness, and we hope that it will serve as a clear guide for municipalities in other countries contending with the very same issue.”

The American Jewish Committee tweeted, “Great news from Chile: through the diligent efforts of our partners @comjudiachile, a pro-BDS bill in the city of Valvidia was declared unconstitutional. We congratulate them on an important victory against a campaign that only makes peace more difficult to achieve. ¡Felicidades!”

Dr. Shimon Samuels — the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director of international relations — said, “We welcome Chile into the club of states that understand how ‘boycott’ is a step to delegitimization, exclusion and atrocity — whether against indigenous, blacks, women, gays, Jews or the Jewish state, Israel.”

Sharon Nazarian — the Anti-Defamation League’s senior vice president for international affairs — tweeted, “We congratulate the Jewish Community in Chile @comjudiachile and @shaiagosin for setting precedent by winning a key #BDS case in which the Chilean General Comptroller ruled it was illegal for the municipality of Valdivia to #boycott #Israel.”

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