After snub, Chile’s anti-Israel president accepts Israeli ambassador’s credentials

Two weeks after President Gabriel Boric refused to meet with new Israeli ambassador, rescheduled ceremony held to accept ambassador’s credentials.

By World Israel News Staff

The president of Chile formally accepted the credentials of Israel’s new ambassador to his country over the weekend, weeks after snubbing the ambassador and sparking a diplomatic row with Jerusalem.

On Saturday, President Gabriel Boric met with Gil Artzyeli to accept his credentials as Israel’s new ambassador to Chile.

Artzyeli had been scheduled originally to submit his credentials to President Boric on September 15th, but after arriving at the presidential palace, was informed by the Foreign Minister, Antonia Urrejola, that President Boric would not meet with him.

Boric, Urrejola told Artzyeli, was outraged by the killing of a 17-year-old Palestinian Arab terrorist that day during clashes with IDF forces near Jenin in Samaria.

Urrejola apologized to Artzyeli, and the ceremony was rescheduled, originally set for September 30th, but later pushed off to October 1st.

Boric, a 36-year-old far-left politician who was elected president last year, has a history of animosity towards Israel. In addition, more than 350,000 Palestinian Arabs live in Chile, making it the largest Palestinian community outside the Mideast.

In one memorable incident that occurred when he was a member of Chile’s Chamber of Deputies, the Jewish community sent Boric a jar of honey as a token Rosh Hashanah gift. Boric returned the honey and tweeted, “I appreciate the gesture, but they could have asked Israel to return illegally occupied Palestinian territory.”

Boric has also supported draft legislation to boycott products and services from Israeli settlements and, during a campaign meeting with Jewish leaders, referred to Israel as a “murderous state.”

The incident sparked a major diplomatic row with Israel, drawing condemnations from the Israeli government and Foreign Ministry.

To signal its anger over the snub, Israel’s foreign ministry summoned Ambassador Jorge Carvajal for a reprimand, delivered by its director-general, Alon Ushpiz.

“Israel views Chile’s bizarre and unprecedented behavior with severity,” said ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon. “This seriously harms relations between the countries.”