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الموقع تحت الإنشاء

النسخة التجريبية من موقع النهضة العربية (أرض)

Expressions of Solidarity with Palestinians in South America in the Face of the Ongoing Genocide in Gaza


A recent trip to Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay by Dr. Lex Takkenberg, ARDD’s Senior Advisor on the Question of Palestine provided an opportunity to witness, first-hand, the many strong expressions of solidarity with the Palestinian people in the face of the ongoing Israeli onslaught in the Gaza Strip and the dramatically deteriorating situation in the West Bank.

Latin America boasts a large Palestinian population composed mainly of long-term immigrants who began settling in the second half of the nineteenth century following the modernization of the Ottoman Empire. Palestinian arrivals peaked between 1900 and 1930, though exact figures are not available. Many of them were Ottoman nationals at the time they left Palestine and were denationalized during the British Mandate and as such became the first generation of Palestine refugees (pre-Nakba).

Chile hosts the largest community of Palestinians which according to unofficial estimates amounts to 500,000, and its current government is a strong supporter of Palestinian rights. Palestinian migration, mostly comprised of Christians from the Bethlehem area, started between 1900-1914, along with other Arabs; a second wave arrived between 1920 and 1940; and a final one after the Nakba. Chile was one of the first countries to respond after UNHCR made an international appeal to governments in 2007 to resettle Palestinian refugees from Iraq, who had been stranded at the borders, as no country in the region would accept them.

Palestinians in Chile have been politically active and have established several prominent Chilean-Palestinian political institutions, media organizations, and even a football club, Club Deportivo Palestino. During his stay, Takkenberg visited the Club Social Palestino in Chile’s capital, Santiago, which includes a Palestinian restaurant, and numerous social and cultural activities, including Dabke, Arabic language courses, etc.

In 2014, Argentina initiated a humanitarian visa program for people affected by the Syrian conflict, including Palestinians. However, as of 2018 just 300 of the announced 3,000 visas had been issued. During his visit to Buenos Aires, Takkenberg met with Eduardo Varela, Director of the MENA Department at the Argentinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss the recent Israeli assaults on UNRWA and the subsequent suspension of funding by some 16 of the agency’s major donors.


Large mural with the text Palestina Libre, Free Palestine, in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso, where many of the early Palestinian and other Arab immigrants arrived in the country.


Sign of the restaurant of the Club Social Palestino in Santiago de Chile.


Another Palestino Libre sign, this time in the streets of Santiago, Chile’s capital.


Poster in the streets of Montevideo, Uruguay, recalling the genocidal onslaught in Gaza.