Chilean senator accuses IDF soldiers of mapping out country

Eugenio Tuma, of Palestinian descent, says undercover troops operating in the South American republic; has been accused of anti-Semitism

Chilean Senator Eugenio Tuma (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile- CC BY 3.0 CL)
Chilean Senator Eugenio Tuma (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile- CC BY 3.0 CL)

A Chilean lawmaker has said that undercover Israeli soldiers were “mapping out” his country.

Eugenio Tuma, a senator of Palestinian descent who has been accused before of anti-Semitic speech, said earlier this month on television that the soldiers were “dressed as civilians” and “mapping out the southern Chile region.”

Tuma, who chairs the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, added during his interview for the television show Controversia that the Chilean government “decided to do nothing given the power exerted by Israel and the US.”

Reacting to Tuma’s allegations, Dina Siegel Vann, director of the American Jewish Committee’s Latino and Latin American Institute, said: “Senator Tuma’s baseless accusations are extremely dangerous, all the more so in a country that has experienced an uptick in anti-Semitism and other forms of racism in recent years.”

In 2010, AJC called on Chilean government and civil society leaders to publicly condemn Tuma for earlier remarks, including the labeling of Chilean Jews as “agents” serving Israel.

“The real danger to Chilean society is ignoring Tuma’s campaign of hate against Israel and Chilean Jews,” said Siegel Vann, adding that the anti-discrimination law adopted last year by the Chilean Congress should be used to take action against Tuma.

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