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      Swastika Attack in Chile

      Anti-Semites in Chile sprayed swastikas and anti-Semitic pictures on the walls of Jewish youth center in the latest hate action against Jews.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 11/14/2010, 3:18 PM / Last Update: 11/14/2010, 3:24 PM

      HaShomer HaTzair

      Anti-Semites in Chile have sprayed swastikas and anti-Semitic pictures on the walls of Jewish youth center in Santiago in an escalation of hate actions against Jews. The HaShomer HaTza'ir (Young Guards) youth group told police they discovered the swastikas when they left a weekend charity activity.

      The organization is closely tied to aliyah to kibbutzim, and dozens of collective communities are part of the movement.

      Last August, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed deep concern about recent anti-Semitic incidents targeting Jewish community leaders and institutions in Chile, and called on the country's officials to publicly condemn such acts.

      Vandals over the summer desecrated cemeteries and spray-painted anti-Semitic graffiti on synagogues and Jewish schools in three cities, including the capital of Santiago. Graffiti included swastikas and the words "Juden Raus" (Jews Out), and death threats were made against the president of Chile’s Jewish Community and his son.

      Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said at the time that the anti-Semitic attacks have led Jews in Chile to feel intimidated and vulnerable, creating 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,” Foxman said.

      The ADL asked Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Echenique to condemn the anti-Semitic threats and acts against the Jewish community. The government has not responded to the swastika attack on the youth center.