The Palestinian Federation of Chile (PFC) warned the Chilean Jewish community Monday not to “play with fire” following Israel’s denial of entry to Anuar Majluf, PFC’s executive director and a prominent BDS activist.
Majluf works to undermine economic relations between Israel and Chile. He was purportedly attempting to visit Israel to lead an Easter pilgrimage.
“The Chilean government should act reciprocally and refuse entry to Israeli citizens who come as tourists to Chile,” Majluf said after he was denied entry.
Israel’s move falls in line with the Israeli Knesset’s recent approval of a bill forbidding BDS activists from entering the Jewish state.
“Anuar Majluf is a major boycott activist whose organization is trying to significantly harm the state of Israel, and his attempt to enter the country is intended for this purpose,” Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan said.
The Chilean Foreign Ministry criticized Israel’s barring of Majluf, while Chile’s Jewish community umbrella body defended the move and said it was “surprised” by the Chilean government’s response.
A Jewish community letter to Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz Valenzuela stated that the “political interests of certain parties” should not harm the country’s Jewish population, while noting that Majluf “promotes hatred” and justifies “attacks by the Hamas terrorist organization against the Israeli civilian population.”
Approximately 10,000 Jews live in Chile, which is also home to more than 300,000 Palestinians, the largest Palestinian community outside of the Middle East.