New York, NY, August 12, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed deep concern about recent anti-Semitic incidents in Chile targeting Jewish community leaders and institutions, and called on the country's officials to publicly condemn such acts.
In recent weeks, vandals have desecrated cemeteries and spray-painted anti-Semitic graffiti on synagogues and Jewish schools in three cities, including the capital, Santiago. In some instances, the graffiti included swastikas and the words "Juden Raus" (Jews Out). The President of Chile's Jewish Community and his son have also received death threats.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We are deeply concerned about the recent string of anti-Semitic incidents against Jews and Jewish institutions in Chile. The death threats against the President of the Chilean Jewish Community and his 9 year-old son are an especially chilling development. These incidents have led Jews in Chile to feel intimidated and vulnerable, and create an atmosphere contrary to the country's democratic ideals.
While we are gratified that local law enforcement has treated these incidents seriously, we urge high level officials to clearly and publicly demonstrate that Chile takes seriously its responsibility to maintain its democratic and inclusive society, and that it is no place for anti-Semitism, racism or any form of bigotry.
We express our solidarity with the Chilean Jewish community in the face of this new threat.
ADL has written to Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Echenique requesting that he condemn the anti-Semitic threats and acts against the Jewish community.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.