Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Palestinian-Chilean Wealth

This is from the Jabotinski International Center.

Though critical of the Palestinian-Chileans’ anti-Israel stance, they do admire the Palestinians in Chile for their success.

Palestinian Federation in Chile active in fostering hatred against Israel

Chileans of Palestinian origin now boast some of the biggest fortunes in the country, heading no fewer than 4 of the 11 largest financial institutions in the country. A disproportionately high number of Palestinian-Chileans also serve in Chile’s congress, including four senators [My note: It is now ten] and a number of deputies. They also hold top positions in government – including officials in the Foreign Ministry and Presidential Palace, and have a strong presence in academic circles[.]

Evidence of significant integration into Chilean society is given through the research conducted by Bethlehem 2000 Palestinian Foundation that showed that less than 30 percent of the community is from families where both parents are of Palestinian origin.

Their intermarriage rate is very high, yet they retain a strong sense of ethnic identification, and they exert a massive influence on Chilean foreign policy.

Chile has tended to have pro-Israel governments; yet even so, the Palestinians have stymied the Santiago government at times. They thwarted Chile’s plan to vote for the UN partition in 1947 which created Israel, and got Chile to abstain; even though the government was pro-Israel.

The Palestinians in Chile have, and are continuing to, influence the position of Chile vis a vis Israel.

Palestinian Federation in Chile active in fostering hatred against Israel

The Palestinian community showed its influence in 1947 when Chile was a strong supporter of the partition plan for Palestine at the United Nations. A group of first-generation Palestinian students in Chile created a strong lobby to convince the Chilean government to change its vote on the eve of November 29, 1947. Even being a member of the “Chilean Committee for a Jewish Palestine,” President Gonzalez Videla cast his lot with those who abstained in the General Assembly vote.

After the second intifada in September 2000, the Palestinian community worked vigorously, using the weight of their numbers and status within the country, to place the Palestinian cause on the Chilean public agenda.