Chilean Presidential Candidate Declares Israel 'A Threat to World Peace' - on Iranian Owned TV

Eduardo Artes's leftist Patriotic Union party has accused Israel of 'genocide' and 'ethnic cleansing' in the past

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Photo of Chilean Presidential candidates Carolina Goic from Christian Democracy, Jose Antonio Kast, from the Independent Party, Sebastian Pinera from Chile Vamos, Alejandro Guiller from the ruling party, Beatriz Sanchez from Frente Amplio party , Marco Enriquez-Ominami from Progresista Party, Eduardo Artes from Union Patriotica party and Alejandro Navarro from MAS party, are pictured before the presidential debate in Santiago, on November 6, 2017. 
Chile will celebrate its presidential election's first round on November 19.
Chilean presidential candidates on stage for a debate. Eduardo Artes who has called Israel a threat to world peace is pictured on the far right.Credit: MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP

A candidate in Chile’s upcoming presidential election declared Israel “a threat to world peace.”

Eduardo Artes, leader of the leftist Patriotic Union party, made the comment in an interview broadcast Friday with Spanish language HispanTV - an Iranian state-owned public broadcasting corporation. He also pledged that as president he would conduct a comprehensive review of his country’s relations with the Jewish state.

“The treaties that Chile currently maintains with the Israeli Zionist entity in military, police, economic and cultural terms must all be reviewed in a patriotic and popular government, since they clearly damage our independence,” Artes said.

“We are going to study all our relations with the Zionist entity because they are relations that generally harm world peace, not only the peace and survival of the Arab peoples, particularly the Palestinian people in the Middle East.”

Artes spoke days before Chile’s presidential, parliamentary and regional council elections, which are slated for Nov. 19.

In July, the Patriotic Union issued a news release accusing Israel of “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing.” The statement included a photograph of Artes carrying a banner with a Palestinian flag on it.

Days earlier, Jewish officials met with President Michelle Bachelet of Chile to ask her to approve a new bill to protect citizens from acts motivated by hatred and discrimination.

In April, the Palestinian Federation of Chile threatened the country’s Jewish umbrella organization over its support of Israel’s decision to bar a Chilean boycott activist from entering the Jewish state.

In February, after a group of visitors from Israel were expelled from a national park, a senior official of a nonprofit tied to the Chilean government threatened to expel “Israelites” from hostels in the country.

In January, a young Jewish and gay activist wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the flag of Israel was attacked by three men carrying neo-Nazi symbols at a Santiago park and suffered several razor cuts.

Chile is home to some 15,000 Jews and what is thought to be the world’s largest Palestinian community outside the Arab world, with more than 300,000 members.