Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spanish media demonizes Israel again.

On Friday, March 26, 2010, El País published an article by Jesús Ruiz Mantilla on Daniel Barenboim's intention to play music in the Gaza Strip. In the article, the Jewish State was demonized again, this time through the distortion of the Israeli public opinion towards the peace process. Excerpt from the article below (translation between quotation marks, as accurate as possible):

"Relationship between Barenboim and his fellow Israelis have always been strained. The Argentine-born musician also has Israeli and Spanish nationalities and has a passport from the Palestine Authority, which named him honorary citizen in 2008. He has always publicly defended the creation of a Palestinian State, a position which has not been entirely understood in Israel. There, many consider the orchestra conductor a traitor, who indeed sometimes makes them listen another of their demons: Richard Wagner."

I don't know whether Wagner was actually an anti-Semite. What I know is this: Jesús Ruiz Mantilla, the author of the article, is distorting the reality. He is actually trying to make the Israelis like they don't want a Palestinian State, and due to this attitude they treat Barenboim (who wants a Palestinian State) as a traitor.
Well, maybe that kind of Israelis do exist. But the vast majority of the Israelis want peace through a two-State solution, and this is not something new, as we can see here, here, here, here, here and here.
Does somebody need more proofs?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic attitudes in Galicia.

Spain is divided into seventeen Autonomous Communities, two Autonomous Cities and the so-called places of sovereignty. One of those Autonomous Communities is Galicia, my home, in northwestern Spain. It has its own language, Galician, which is co-official along with Spanish, the language of the Kingdom of Spain. Galicia is divided into 4 provinces: Pontevedra, A Coruña, Ourense and Lugo. Each province's capital has the same name as the province itself. Galicia's capital is Santiago de Compostela, in the province of A Coruña.
Ignacio Ramonet, a writer and journalist, was born in Redondela, a municipality in the province of Pontevedra, on May 5, 1943. He was the editor in chief of Le Monde diplomatique from 1991 until March 2008. Already in 2007, he warned El País' readers about anti-Semitism in Galicia (translation between quotation marks, as accurate as possible):

"I was with Ramón Chao in Redondela, my home, a few days ago, invited by the International Press Club, which is being efficiently directed by Carmen Carballo. At the A Xunqueira Multipurpose Auditorium, provided by mayor Xaime Rei, we gave a speech about War and peace today; geopolitics of contemporary conflicts, which was intended to close the series about The beats of the world. We were far from imagining that, in that context, we were about to be witnesses of hateful anti-Semitic manifestations in today's Galicia.

Our purpose was to propose answers to some of the following questions: how to understand contemporary world? ¿What are the main clashes (military, political, economic and ecological ones) of today's world? Is in any case the so-called 'war against international terrorism' the adequate response to the great contemporary disturbances?"

So, that was the purpose of the conference. After that, as Ramonet writes, a discussion about the issue began, with the audience's involvement. Please pay attention to Ramonet's explanations about what was heard there:

"The first person who talked, very excited, began to curse against a sort of 'plot of the Jews' which, according to this person, consists of, 'through their economic and mediatic power', 'permanently blackmailing the international public opinion by constantly evoking the genocide and victimizing themselves'. This, according to that speecher, 'allows them to commit a genocide against the Palestinians'.

After that stream of anti-Semitic topics, expressed by crying them out, what was more surprising to us was that part of the audience applauded as if they were approving such a lamentable speech. I declared that I condemn in the most explicit way such words and that I find unusual that at this stage somebody can yield, under the pretext of the defense of the Palestinian cause, to the crassest anti-Semitism. If it's obvious that some actions by the Israeli army must be criticized (as the Palestinian attacks against Israeli innocent civilians), that mustn't in any case make us take part in the dreadful pseudo-arguments of the oldest and most criminal anti-Semitism. The majority of those in the audience approved this position through applauses.

But, cleverly distributed all over the room, something which demostrates that the group was up to no good, the friends of the speecher replied calling me 'traitor' and 'ignorant', arguing that 'anti-Semitism doesn't exist because the Arabs are Semites, too'. It was like if a lexical criticism could deny the reality of the tragic and old anti-Judaism all over Europe, including Galicia."

And this happens in Galicia, my home. As explained by Ramonet:

"This incident not only tarnished my joy when giving a conference in my home, Redondela, for the first time, but, above all, it also shows worrying, deep-rooted and sickening anti-Semitic theses within a Galician extreme left which went astray. Which dishonours our land. The sleep of reason generates monsters. And the lack of some people's ability to think has led them to the worst of the monstrosities. It is time to rectify."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Israel is singled out for criticism and its right to exist is put into question.

On Friday, March 19, 2010, an opinion article by Jerónimo Páez, a lawyer, was published by Spanish daily El País. In this article Israel is singled out for the freezing of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and its right to exist is put into question. Excerpts of the article below (translation between quotation marks, as accurate as posible):

1.- "One of the best books published in Spain about the Palestinian conflict is entitled Without mercy, without hope: Palestinians and Israelis, the tragedy which doesn't cease. Its author, David Solar, announced, already in 2002, the current spring of the Israeli hawk and the checkmate to the Palestinian people. The time, unfortunately, has come to agree that he's right."

In this first paragraph, the author doesn't hesitate to simplify the conflict almost by reducing it to an agression by a completely guilty execution-style murderer against a completely innocent defenseless victim, regardless of the fact that all parties involved are able to use violence against each other. Would Sderot's inhabitants agree with Jerónimo Páez's vision of the conflict? Would the victims of the 1929 Hebron massacre do so? Páez should notice that the pain which Palestinian violence has provoked does exist, too, and it plays a major role in the conflict. Could Páez say that the Palestinians are completely innocent defenseless victims? Or are they part of the problem, too?

2.- "Being the Israelis relentless in the defense of their interests, being obsessed with extending the territories where they settled during the first half of the past century with the United Kingdom's support, they've forgotten the traditions of tolerance and grandness of spirit which made the Jews an admired and admirable people during centuries. It could be that no other has fought more to survive and to win through the adversities and persecutions, but the initial, noble purpose to create in the Near East 'a home' for its people has turned it into a militaristic and aggressor State, which doesn't hesitate to use any method to finish with its enemies, real or hypothetical ones."

If the Israelis are so obsessed with extending their territories, why haven't they annexed the Palestinian territories, while expelling almost all of its inhabitants? Why did they evacuate the Gaza Strip and some areas of the West Bank, soldiers and settlers included? It should be mentioned, too, that Hamas (which continued launching rockets and mortar shells regardless of the Israeli territorial disengagement) has stated that their goal is not the achievement of a solution of two States for two peoples, living in peace, side by side, but the building of a single State after the destruction of Israel. Páez failed to specify whether such an attitude isn't also an obsession, in fact much more dangerous than that of the Israelis.

3.- "With the excuse of its security, Israel always demands the support for all of its actions from the Western powers, which rarely reject it. Huge is its mediatic power, powerful are its lobbies and numerous are the West's negative perceptions about the muslim world, which Zionism was able to manipulate to the point that many hold the oppressed responsible for the tragedy and not the opressors. The statements recently brought by Shimon Peres are part of this campaign, when he affirms, without blushing, that 'Gaza is an Iranian organism' after having destroyed it and attacked its population with white phosphorus bombs."

Mediatic power, powerful lobbies and Zionist manipulation. Are this expressions a mention of the myth of the Jewish power? How could be said that the Zionists rule the media when Páez himself is perfectly able to write against Israel? In fact, it would be enough to read on a regular basis the international and opinion sections of European newspapers such as Spanish El País, Norwegian Aftenposten or Swedish Aftonbladet to understand that pro-Israeli lobbies have failed to achieve a positive image of Israel in the mainstream media and, subsequently, in the public opinion.
It is also hard to understand Páez's position about the Western attitudes towards Israel (which in his opinion primarily consists of a strong support for the Jewish State), especially considering that the Quartet on the Middle East (which is composed by the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and the Russian Federation) has recently called Israel for the freezing of the settlements, as El País itself has published.
Páez should also notice that Iranian support for Hamas (as specified by Shimon Peres) is a fact, not just a theory.

4.- "Israel knows that with difficulty any international institution will dare to call it for making the necessary steps towards peace. It hasn't frozen the settlements of the occupied West Bank, it agreed on increase them in East Jerusalem, it rejects the bi-national status of this city and it hinders in practice, as long as it can, the birth of the Palestinian State."

The alleged collusion of the foreign powers with Israel is mentioned again, while Páez fails to mention the Israeli moratorium on the construction of new settlements, the dismantling of those settlements considered illegal even by Israel and the fact that East Jerusalem is part of Jerusalem, a city inside Israel and the capital of the Jewish State. It is illegal for a country to decide whether to build or not to build inside its territory?
Furthermore, Israel has recognized East Jerusalem's Arabs' rights (including citizenship) and has built homes for them, as published by AURORA DIGITAL, an Israeli Internet daily written in Spanish. It also should be mentioned that the Beit Yehonatan building (home to eight Jewish families) of East Jerusalem was reported by The Jerusalem Post to be sealed and demolished in the near future, while El País was falsely denouncing the rejection of that plan two days after The Jerusalem Post's aforementioned article was published.
What is Páez trying to tell us when he writes about the bi-national status of East Jerusalem? There are many Germans living in the Balearic Islands. Should be consider that this Spanish archipelago has a bi-national (both Spanish and German) status?

5.- "A far right coalition has been politically consolidated in Israel, the fanatical colonists and the radical rabbis, who support Binyamin Netanyahu, hawk among hawks, whose main obsession, as Avi Shlaim says in The Iron Wall, is no other than dynamite the peace process. The Israeli Prime Minister hasn't made any concession to the peace process and he is about frustrating the hope placed in Obama, who he doesn't doubt to dare, like has happened during the recent visit of the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden. Difficult is the situation for Obama, unless he dares to freeze the American help for Israel, which according to a Congressional Research Service's report has supposed the unbelievebable sum of $28,900 billion, used by the receiver to reinforce much more its military power."

So, Páez considers American economic aid to Israel a problem, because it strengthens its military power. Would Israel need any military power if the Arab and muslim world had recognized Israel's right to exist? Is not also a problem the Iranian aid to Hamas and Hezbollah, which forces Israel to arm itself? What about the Soviet aid to the Arab countries since Israel's creation? Was not that the primary factor which made the Jewish State to strengthen its military capacities? "We'd like to live like Europe or Costa Rica", declared once Israeli Ambassador to Spain, Raphael Schutz, mentioning the fact that the armed forces of the European countries are generally small, while some of them (like Iceland) and Costa Rica in Latin America have not armed forces. Why? Because they don't need a strong military, while Israel does.
Hamas' suicide, rocket and mortar attacks since the 2005 territorial disengagement plan, were not also primarily intended to dynamite the peace process? Or it is that the Palestinians are not playing any role in the conflict?

6.- "The representatives of the Israeli State usually accuse of anti-Semitism those who dare to criticize them and defend the thesis which proclaims the Palestinians are those who reject to negotiate for peace. This was affirmed by Raphael Schutz, Israeli Ambassador to Spain, in a recent article, in which he also adverts them that 'if they want to achieve peace, they'll have to rennounce to part of their dreams'. The Ambassador doesn't specify whether they can afford just one and he also fails to remember that when the Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917, which was intended to establish a 'fatherland for the Jewish people', were in the zone less than 50,000 Jews and more than 600,000 Arabs."

If anti-Semitism doesn't play any role in anti-Israeli attitudes, how could Páez explain what we see here or here? Are the terrorist attacks by Hamas an act of negotiation towards peace? When Páez cites the demographic figures about the Jewish and Arab populations of Palestine, he is clearly putting into question Israel's right to exist. Is that peaceful?

7.- "When they're asked about the peace process, the Palestinians answer: 'Netanyahu is not taking a first step in order to begin negotiations'. Today, any accord would scarcely grant the Palestinians space enough to live with dignity."

What about the Palestinians? Are they contributing to the peace process? For example, the Jewish Agency accepted the Partition Plan, being this one rejected by the Arabs.
After the Israeli War of Independence (1948-1949), the West Bank and East Jerusalem were occupied and annexed by Amman's authorities, while the Gaza Strip was occupied by Cairo's regime. Each of the armistice agreements signed by Israel with those regimes supposed the Jewish approval of that fact; we're talking about Israel's rejection of those territories which are being claimed now by the Palestinian National Authority in order to build its own State. Egypt kept the Gaza Strip until 1956 (re-ocuppying it in 1967 for a short term), while Jordan did the same with the West Bank and East Jerusalem until 1967. ¿Why did the Egyptians, the Jordanians and the Palestinians avoid the building and subsequent consolidation of a Palestinian State in those territories? The main cause couldn't be the lack of time, after all. So, maybe the actual cause was that was much more interesting for the Arabs condemning the Palestinians to remain as a Stateless people in order to use such a human drama against the interests of the State of Israel, wasn't it?
During the year 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak proposed a Palestinian State which would include some East Jerusalem's areas. What was the Palestinian response? The Second Intifada, also known as the al-Aqsa Intifada.

8.- "The worst thing is that there's no any reason for hope. Dan Ephron, Newsweek's correspondent in the zone, recently wrote: 'Israel has abandoned the path to peace and is benefiting itself from the dividends of peace without any accord'. He added: 'The barrier is working', that is, 'repression has worked'. Because of the fact that the Israeli economy is growing due to its spectacular technological development, caused in part by its military technology, many in that country are those who think that why to embark on a difficult peace process that maybe will generate more problems than advantages, or, as some of them say, 'that may rock the boat again'.

Maybe we should cite again the 2005 territorial disengagement plan performed by Israeli authorities, and the Palestinian response in the form of terrorist attacks. Who were working for peace in that occasion, the Israelis or the Palestinians?
But what actually upsets me in this eighth paragraph is the idea given by Páez: many people in Israel doesn't want peace, something which is completely false. The majority of the Israelis want peace through a two-State solution, and also many Palestinians, according to a poll conducted in 2009.
Couldn't be also said that there are Palestinians who see peace unfavourable to their interests, such as Hamas' leaders?

9.- "It's not distant from reality this Ephron's analysis, given the fact that all of the Israeli pro-peace parties suffered their biggest electoral defeat in their history last year. But it's more surprising the short-term thinking of that growing majority of the Israeli population. At least their rulers should realize that the situation can blow up later or sooner and that with their aggressions they contribute to consolidate Hamas' power and that of some of their more inflamed enemies."

Páez's theory of a vast majority of Israelis accomodating themselves in an atmosphere of war without having realized its inherent dangers is transmitted to El País' readers again, regardless of the polls which show us another reality: that majority wants peace. This should be separated from Israeli public opinion being favourable to military operations primarily intended to foil terrorist attacks. Will Páez be able to assimilate the difference in the future?
By the other hand, are Israeli military operations strengthening Hamas and other Israel's enemies? For example, Operation Cast Lead was carried out between the end of 2008 and the first weeks of 2009. Just compare the number of terror attacks per year in the period between 2005 and 2008 (before the Operation Cast Lead) with that of the year 2009 (after the Operation Cast Lead). It is clearly shown that in 2009 Israel was less vulnerable to terrorist attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups than during previous years.
Exempli gratia, as published by AURORA DIGITAL, 15 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks during 2009, compared with the 38 killed in 2008. According to data gathered by the Shabak (more commonly known as the Shin Bet, which is in charge of those intelligence operations carried out within the State of Israel and the occupied territories), a total of 566 rockets were launched to Israel in 2009, compared to the 2,048 rockets launched in 2008. There was no a single suicide bombing during 2009. The number of injured people was also lower in 2009 than in 2008.
All of this made 2009 the safest year of the decade for the Jewish State, something which derives from the Israeli security measures (id est, checkpoints, security barriers, military operations, and so on).

10.- "The powerful American pro-Israeli lobby (A.I.P.A.C.) has just warned Obama that he is putting pressure 'excesively and unilaterally' on the Jewish State. And this one justifies all of the and each of its actions saying that the only threat against the peace in the region is Iran. But would be advisable that the Western powers shouldn't forget that in order to achieve peace it could be that is necessary to neutralize the Iranian hawks... and also the Israeli hawks."

Again, nothing is written by Páez about the necessity of taking measures primarily intended to foil Palestinian ideological violence; because it would also be advisable to remember that in order to achieve peace it's necessary for the Palestinians to avoid Israeli reactions (legitimate or not) to their attacks, which are proven effective, as shown before.

So, maybe Spanish lawyer Jerónimo Páez is the one who should be blushing for his article, instead of Shimon Peres for its statements regarding Iranian support for Hamas' and Hezbollah's criminal activities.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Russell Tribunal on Palestine, held in Barcelona.

The Russell Tribunal was created in order to judge American (among others) involvement and attitudes in Vietnam. It also judged some Latin American dictatorships, the Irak War and, more recently, alleged Israeli violations of human rights and European Union's complicity with Israel. Those responsible for the Tribunal's activities always claimed that it was based on international law.
The Tribunal finally found Israel guilty of apartheid and war crimes against Palestinians during military operations and while occupying the Palestinian territories, and European Union was found guilty of complicity, because it sold weapons to Israel, while legitimizing the occupation of the Palestinian territories and assisting Israel in it.
Was this Tribunal actually able to judge somebody or something? No. Why? The primary reason for it is that this Tribunal is not a real one. It has no authority to judge neither anybody nor anything. It's a symbolic Tribunal, not a real one appointed by a governmental department in order to judge and punish according to laws.
But more interesting is the nature of the Tribunal itself. This is just a part of the response (translated as accurate as possible, between quotation marks) of the Israeli Embassy in Spain:

"Without credibility nor moral weight. The self-denominated tribunal is exclusively constituted by people with a long anti-Israeli trajectory, like the payroll of people and institutions that support it. There's no a single independent voice, it's simply a lynching tribune which will stage the reading of a condemnatory sentence against Israel, whose script was decided since the same moment of its announcement. A condemnatory sentence as predictable as that which would be passed by a jury exclusively composed by Ku Klux Klan's members in a process against a coloured man."

Following this and other statements by the Israeli Embassy in Spain, we can find a link to the same statement with an interesting cartoon. Pay attention to it, please.
Also interesting are those statements made by Pilar Rahola and Jorge Marirrodriga. Pilar Rahola is a Spanish journalist from Catalonia, and a former leftist and nationalist politician, who considers herself pro-Israeli. She has her own website. We can find her statements about the Tribunal here.
She argues that it uses Bertrand Russell's name in vane, simplifies the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by reducing it to a dispute of good Palestinians and bad Israelis and is constituted by people with a long history of anti-Israeli attitudes, finally explaining that the Tribunal was financed by the Catalonian autonomous government and Barcelona's municipal council: "I claim for the returning of the money which, in my name, they've used to criminalize Israel."
Jorge Marirrodriga is also a Spanish journalist. He has a blog of his own entitled Sobre Israel Opinamos Todos (which could be translated as About Israel All of Us Think or About Israel All of Us Give an Opinion), where he criticizes anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic attitudes. The article in which he criticized the Tribunal can be found here.
He denounces the lack of morality of the Tribunal, claiming that it's an act of manipulation of the public opinion within the process of demonization of Israel. He also claims that the Russell Tribunal was used to revive the spirit of the movement against the United States' involvement in Vietnam, and that its members are delegitimizing Israel's right to exist while having failed to dennounce what is happening with enslaved societies. He finally exhorts the members of the Tribunal to ask Mosab Hassan Yousef "who is responsible for war crimes, what is Hamas and why it's worth to save lives even by facing his own father."
But this is not the first time this Tribunal is criticized due to its perceived political bias. Staughton Lynd, a self-declared social democrat pacifist, claimed in his book The War Crimes Tribunal: A Dissent (1967), that he was requested by Bertrand Russell to participate in the Tribunal, and that he rejected the invitation arguing that the Tribunal was biased against just one party involved in the Vietnam conflict.
Lynd wrote that "in conversation to the emissary who proffered the invitation, I argued that the alleged war crimes of any party to the conflict should come before the Tribunal. After all, I argued, a 'crime' is an action that is wrong no matter who does it. Pressing my case, I asked, 'What if it were shown that the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam tortures unarmed prisoners?' The answer, as I understood it, was, 'Anything is justified that drives the imperialist aggressor into the sea.' I declined the invitation to be a member of the Tribunal."
Please notice that driving the "aggressor" into the sea is what the Arabs and muslims want to do with the Israeli Jews.

Anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic expressions on the Internet.

Norway, Israel and the jews commented once on a debate forum in Spanish supplied by Yahoo. This forum deals with the Arab-Israeli conflict (there are other forums relating to many other issues, such as the ruling of Venezuela by Hugo Chávez, the Cuban dictatorship, religion, crime in Spain, and so on, supplied by Yahoo, too). Currently the forum has just a few members debating about the Arab-Israeli conflict, mostly against Israel. Well, regardless of the number of members, most of them always were against Israel.
These are just a few examples of what was written there (translations are provided between quotation marks, as accurate as posible, including spelling mistakes):
1.- "i think israel is a monster being feed by its god the united states and its crimes are backed by the yankee empire of the multinationals which support israel's genocides and while there are thousands of people with no food the sons of bitches waste money in weapons and contracts with those who commit genocide (this for the united states) barack obama gives millions of dollars to that damned country to kill children and women in gaza and the west bank.Strength from el salvador to HAMAS everybody against jewish fascism and its yankee father!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
2.- "Rafaeli demonstrates the taliban-israeli persecution against anyone who doesn't adjust to its mesianic militaristic vision of the reality of that nation. As the talibans destroying Buda statues they're chasing pacifists and those who profess other religions and believes. zionist neo-nazism is even repudiated by so many jews of the USA. In Israel they have to run away from the fanatism and the reprisals."
3.- "hello everybody. it's easy to listen the voices of a state who considers itself democratic, which declares itself the only democracy in an arab vacuum. this is another of the great zionist lies. israel is not a democracy, it's a theocracy.
the religious ones don't allow the creation of a constitution, because israel's laws can't be written by men, only by god.
gentlemen, switch off and let's go."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spanish anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic attitudes are mentioned by an Israeli newspaper.

Criticism came from The Jerusalem Post, under the title "The Spanish disease". These are just a few examples of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic incidents in Spain:
1.- The so-called Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which held its sessions in Barcelona. The Israeli Embassy in Spain has compared it with a Ku Klux Klan tribunal against a black person.
2.- Those postcards which were sent by Spanish schoolchildren to the Israeli Embassy in Spain with messages such as "Jews kill for money", "Leave the country to the Palestinians" and "Go somewhere they will accept you".
3.- Israeli Ambassador to Spain, Raphael Schutz, was verbally assaulted when returning from a soccer match with his wife. They had to listen things like "Dirty Jew" and "Jew bastard". Fortunately, they were being escorted by police officers.
4.- The 1492 Spanish Jews' expulsion by the Catholic Monarchs, Queen Isabella I of Castilla and King Ferdinand II of Aragón.
5.- During Francisco Franco's fascist dictatorship, the Jews were subjected to the communist and Judeo-Masonic conspiracy theories.

How to deal with this atmosphere of both anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic attitudes in Spain? According to The Jerusalem Post, it's clear that Israeli Ambassador to Spain, Raphael Schutz, will not be able to "brave it alone." But even the best public diplomacy "will not eradicate ingrained Spanish anti-Semitism. That's a challenge for Spain to meet."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Example of a Spanish anti-Israeli rally.

As said by the Anti-Defamation League's report about the increase of anti-Semitism in Spain, support for Palestinian terrorism and anti-Semitic attitudes are frequent during anti-Israeli rallies. This is an example of what we can see during these kind of events here in Spain.
During the summer of 2006, Israel engaged in a war against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, due to an armed raid through the Israeli-Lebanese border by the Shi'ite terrorist organization, which resulted in the deaths of several Israeli soldiers and the kidnapping of two others. During the raid and the subsequent war, Katyusha rockets were intentionally fired by Hezbollah to civilian areas in northern Israel.
During the war, many demonstrations were held worldwide. One of them took place in Spain on Thursday, July 20. This is what many of the demostrators expressed (translations between quotation marks):

1.- "Anne Frank is Palestinian".

2.- "NO MORE HOLOCAUSTS". - The Star of David is equated with the nazi swastika.

3.- "¿WOULD THE PRO-PEOPLE IN POWER CONDEMN THE 'ERRONEOUS' SLAUGHTER OF ISRAELI CHILDREN?" - The slogan "NO TO THE WAR" is also shown. This slogan has been widely used in Spain against the Irak War, which the right-wing P.P. (Partido Popular or People's Party) supported while governing the country, both politically and militarily (notice that both of the P's of "PRO-PEOPLE IN POWER" are a reference to the conservative People's Party). This means that the Irak War was compared with the Israeli military actions during the Second Lebanon War, regardless of the Hezbollah's raid which provoked the Israeli operations in that occasion and the subsequent armed operations against Israel during the clash. It also can be read "The Banks Always Win", which easily could be a reference to the myth of the Jewish economic and financial power.

4.- "STOP the new nazis". - The famous picture of a Palestinian boy throwing a stone to an Israeli Merkava tank is shown. It can also be read "Oleiros with Palestine", being Oleiros a municipality of the province of A Coruña, in Galicia, Spain. The Oleiros' official logo can also be seen under the Palestinian flag. The texts are in this case in Galician, a language mainly spoken in Galicia.


6.- "Nazis, yankees and Jews, ¡no more chosen peoples!"

7.- "ISRAEL GENOCIDAL. It learnt from nazis."

8.- "Don't let them deceive you! Who votes Hezbollah and Hamas Doesn't want PEACE." - The guy who showed this message against Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups encountered this response. He was intimidated and taken into police custody. Among what demostrators shouted to him, we can hear "Who is paying you for coming here to rouse?!", "Nazi!", "Go out!", "Assassin!", "Rouser!", and so on.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Does anti-Semitism exist in Spain?

In October, 2009, the President of the Government of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, was visiting the State of Israel and the Palestinian territories. Asked by Maariv (an Israeli newspaper) about an Anti-Defamation League's report on the increase of anti-Semitic attitudes in Spain, the P.S.O.E.'s (Partido Socialista Obrero Español, Spanish Socialist Workers' Party) leader declared, as explained by Spanish newspaper El Mundo:

"I must declare in a clear way, there is no anti-Semitism in Spain in any of its expressions. Not all comment, publication or photography must be considered anti-Semitic. The best proof is that today there are no anti-Semitic acts in Spain. Anti-Semitism was Franco's dictatorship".

But the report issued by the Anti-Defamation League tells us another story, according to the same article by El Mundo:

"Creators of opinion in Spain are crossing the line which separates legitimate criticism of Israeli actions from anti-Semitism. (...) In our 2009 survey, three fourth parts of the Spaniards believe that the Jews have 'too much power' in the international financial markets; almost two thirds believe that Jews 'are not loyal towards Spain'".

The report can be found here, it's divided into several parts (Introduction, Anti-Semitism in The Media, Anti-Semitism in Anti-Israel Rallies, Anti-Semitic Incidents in 2009, Anti-Semitic Attitudes, Government Response and Recommendations), and it has been posted on Monday, September 21, 2009, under the title "Polluting the Public Square: Anti-Semitic Discourse In Spain".