Almost six months ago, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported that Chilean Jews were worried that the grandson of Palestinian immigrants may become the country's next president.
This was because he had previously accused Jews of controlling the media and referred to the Jewish community as the ‘Zionist community'. Some Jews were said to be contemplating 'making aliyah' - emigrating to Israel - should he win.
But it now appears they preempted events as Daniel Jadue, a "communist of Palestinian origin known for his fierce animosity to Israel and open hostility to the Jewish community", lost the presidential primary election in July.
Let's be fair: Jadue had posed a different type of threat from that of the late General Augusto Pinochet, who was a brutal, murderous dictator but accepted those Jews who supported his regime. He also traded with Israel and his ambassador to Israel was José Berdichevsky, who had enjoyed a brilliant career in the Chile Armed Forces.
So much emerges in an essay by Anglo-Jewish historian Professor Colin Shindler
who mentions how in 2015 "Israelis Lily Traubman and Daniel Silberman whose fathers had been tortured and 'disappeared' during Pinochet’s dictatorship, together with Lily’s daughter, Tamara, presented a request to the Israeli Defence and Foreign Affairs ministries for details of Israeli-Chilean security and political relations during this period".
So is it, that as Jews represent only 0.1% of the country's population against their Palestinian counterparts, who with an estimated 300-500,000 people, are not only the largest expat Palestinian community outside the Middle East but make up about 2.5% of the Chilean population of 18 million, they are once more on the wrong side of history?
The full election, described as the most polarised in decades, takes place today, Sunday 21 November. I intend to post the result tomorrow, Monday 22 November.
Meanwhile, Silberman, a former journalist and financial adviser turned creative writer, has since penned several children's books but presently concentrates on using autobiographical material.
His third book, The Dead Hand, published last year, is a collection of interwoven short stories, as seen through the eyes of children, based on true family events that occurred during the Pinochet regime.
As Silberman will be promoting his book at a meeting in Karmiel this week, I may be able to return here with an explanation in more depth and greater understanding of the extraordinary times in which he lived.
Daniel Silberman's books are available via Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.
21 NOVEMBER 2021