Buenos Aires, Argentina — A boycott campaign against Israeli backpackers was launched in the Patagonian region of Argentina.
“Boycott Against Israeli Military Tourism” was written on posters that appeared Monday in the city of Bariloche, a major tourism center located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. They were signed by the Palestine Solidarity Committee in Argentine Patagonia.
Israelis make up about 10 percent of the lucrative tourist trade there and most of the stores have signs in Hebrew to attract Israeli visitors.
Also, “Jews Out of Patagonia” appeared on two pesos bills, the lowest denomination of Argentine money.
Following a protest by the local Jewish community, the National Institute Against Discrimination, or INADI, opened an investigation, and its regional delegate, Julio Accavallo, demanded sanctions against the boycotters and called for the posters to be removed.
The Argentine Jewish political umbrella DAIA criticized the anti-Israeli campaign and expressed satisfaction with the INADI investigation.
“Our center has expressed its solidarity with the Bariloche Jewish community and offered its support and cooperation against the BDS hatemongers,” Sergio Widder, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director for Latin America, told JTA. BDS stands for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
Bariloche also was a refugee city for Nazis after World War II. The late Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke served as the director of the German School of Bariloche for many years.