Fires rage in Chilean Torres del Paine national park 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Chilean police increasingly believe the massive brushfire that swept through
thousands of acres of forest in Patagonia was caused by unknown vandals. Yet
articles accusing Israeli backpacker Rotem Singer and the State of Israel of
intentionally destroying the nature reserve continued to appear in the local
press over the weekend.
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Columnist Andrés Figueroa Cornejo of the Chilean
newspaper El Cidudadano speculated in a piece published on Saturday that Singer
might be part of a group of Israeli backpackers that may form a bridgehead for
an eventual Israeli invasion of the southern province.
“Is [Patagonia] a
strategic geo-military outpost for the State of Israel?” he asked in the leftist
publication. “Are they there for sheer pleasure?” In his article, Figueroa
Cornejo tied Singer to Zionist founder Theodor Herzl, current US foreign policy
and an alleged past offer by the British empire to turn Patagonia into a Jewish
homeland to formulate a theory that the Jewish state might be planning to seize
“It is easy to imagine... the Israeli
military... arriving in the middle of nowhere in ‘noman’s land’ to claim
power, accommodation and natural resources,” he wrote.
Shai Agosin, the
president of the Jewish community of Chile, which numbers about 25,000,
lambasted Figueroa Cornejo saying his comments were anti-Semitic and ridiculous.