Israeli’s alleged role in Chile fire sparks theories

Newspaper speculates backpacker part of group preparing for Israeli invasion of Chile's southern province.

Fires rage in Chilean Torres del Paine national park 311 R (photo credit: REUTERS)
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.
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.
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“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 the area.
“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.