“The Nazis were children next to the actual Zionists as they are incarnated through the State of Israel,” Mauricio Abu Gosh, a leader of the large and influential Palestinian community of Chile, was quoted as saying in Chilean media on Sunday.

Responding to an interview with the president of the Jewish community in Chile, Shai Agosin, that appeared in The Jerusalem Post on Friday, Abu Gosh said the Jewish state was a product of Nazism and that it “has outdone its teachers in comparative terms.”

He added: “The Palestinians are suffering directly from a brutal genocide at the hands of the Israeli army.”

Abu Gosh rejected Agosin’s comments that ties between Jews and Palestinians in Chile used to be good before taking a turn for the worse over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying the two communities were “never close and I can’t imagine how they can be more distant at the moment.”

The Palestinian Federation of Chile represents an estimated 400,000 Chileans of Palestinian descent, the largest such community in South America.

Last April, Abu Gosh was denied entry to Israel on grounds of “security concerns” and inciting hatred. The Chilean government issued a statement at the time criticizing Jerusalem’s decision not to admit Abu Gosh into the country.

Gabrial Zaliasnik, a former president of the Jewish community in Chile, responded to Abu Gosh’s remarks on Sunday, accusing Palestinian-Chilean leaders of worsening ties between Chilean Jews and Palestinians.

“I have so many Palestinian friends and my father had many more,” Zaliasnik wrote on Twitter. “I can’t understand the hatred of the current leadership of the Palestinian Federation.”

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