Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spanish anti-Semitism continues to grow

From a JPOST EDITORIAL, 10/03/2010:

...A virulently anti-Israel tribunal likened to a “lynching” by the Israeli Embassy in Madrid is the most recent in a spate of anti-Semitic incidents instigated by Spaniards....Gathering at the beginning of this month in Barcelona, which in the 13th century hosted one of Jewish history’s most illustrious communities, the tribunal, which did not include a representative of Israel, was tasked with examining “on what level the European Union and its member states are complicit in... violations on the part of Israel of the rights of the nation of Palestine.”

...meanwhile, the embassy received dozens of postcards written by Spanish schoolchildren with messages such as “Jews kill for money,” “Leave the country to the Palestinians” and “Go somewhere where they will accept you.”

And in mid-February, Ambassador to Spain Rafi Shotz protested the display of two pieces of art at the International Art Fair in Madrid with virulently anti-Israel messages. One is a sculpture of a menorah sprouting from the barrel of an Uzi sub-machine gun. The other is a highly realistic polyurethane sculpture of a hassid standing on the shoulders of a Catholic priest who is kneeling on a prostrate Muslim worshiper, called “Stairway to Heaven.”

...Ambassador Shotz ...was verbally assaulted last year with epithets such as “dirty Jew,” “Jew bastard” and “Jew murderer” when he and his wife returned from a soccer game accompanied by police....

Spain has a long, infamous history of anti-Semitism that pre-dates the Inquisition. For centuries after the 1492 Expulsion, Spaniards enforced the ban against Jews setting foot on Spanish soil. Francisco Franco’s fascist, pro-Arab dictatorship that ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975 stoked anti-Israel sentiments.

Now the left-wing prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, is aligned with anti-globalization activists whose agenda includes strong anti-Israel sentiments. During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Zapatero, with a keffiyeh thrown around his neck, told a group of young socialists that “no one should defend themselves with abusive force which does not protect innocent human beings.”

A year earlier, he was quoted as saying that “someone might justify the Holocaust.”

Zapatero, who took power in a surprise election victory following Islamist train bombings in Madrid in 2004 and immediately pulled Spanish troops out of Iraq, was reelected in 2008. In September 2009, the Anti-Defamation League published a report titled “Polluting the Public Square: Anti-Semitic Discourse in Spain” in which it expressed concern over viciously anti-Semitic cartoons and articles in Spain’s mainstream media, and opinion polls conducted over the preceding year showing an alarming rise in anti-Semitic attitudes. All this is in a country with no more than 30,000 Jews out of a population of almost 47 million...
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