Manuel Tapial is one of the three Spanish activists who were on board the Mavi Marmara. On Monday, July 5, 2010, Spanish daily AHORA Leganés published an interview with him about the P.P.'s (People's Party, a right-wing, conservative party) branch for the municipality of Leganés (a city near Madrid, Spain's capital), which refused to condemn the raid conducted by the Tzahal against the so-called Gaza flotilla. During the voting process, Leganés' councillor Dolores Montoro (a member of the People's Party) wore two Stars of David. This is the interview (translated as accurate as possible, between quotation marks):
"Q. Leganés' P.P. has refused to condemn the Israeli assault on the Flotilla during the Voting Process.
A. I think that to affirm we attacked the Israelis comes from a supine ignorance. These statements discredit the P.P. by themselves. P.P.'s spokesman puts himself out of the Law through his words. It sounds like if defense of State terrorism had been made, defending a State which has committed a violation of the Human Rights and which has committed murders.
Q. What do you think about the P.P.'s councillor wearing two Stars of David during this Voting Process?
A. Leganés' citizens must know these facts. We could compare it with a member of E.T.A. showing the photographs of those killed by him during a Voting Process. That's the same indignation our families have been able to feel while seeing it. It's outrageous that somebody can defend a State which has committed a terrorist act, which has put our lives in danger and which has provoked nine deaths. It's outrageous.
Q. What would you tell this councillor?
A. [I'd tell her] to go to live in Israel."
E.T.A. (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, which in Basque means Basque Homeland and Freedom) is a far-left, armed organization which aims to achieve the independence for Euskadi or Basque Country (which would include two Spanish Autonomous Communities, Euskadi or Basque Country and Navarre, as well as the western part of the French department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques) through the use of force and intimidation; id est, it's a terrorist organization, delegitimized by most of the Basques, which has demonstrated many times it's able to kill, harm and kidnap members of the security forces, politicians, businesspeople, journalists and innocent civilians as a whole, through both selective and indiscriminate actions committed by the use of firearms and explosives.
Since E.T.A. was founded in 1959, it killed more than 800 people.
Before being expelled from the Basque Parliament and municipal councils by law, the members of those political parties supporting E.T.A. were able to defend the organization inside those institutions, showing photographs of E.T.A.'s members, refusing to condemn E.T.A.'s criminal activities and so on.
And for Manuel Tapial, refusing to condemn the Israeli raid on the Gaza flotilla is comparable to show support for terrorism, in spite of all the proofs against many of the activists who were on board the Mavi Marmara and the lack of evidence against Israeli soldiers.
But what really shocks me is that, in his point of view, a Spanish politician wearing a Magen David during a council meeting is comparable to a member of E.T.A. supporting E.T.A.'s terrorism during a council meeting. And he made this statement in a country which has been suffering E.T.A.'s terrorism for decades, as well as anti-Semitism for centuries.
Well, maybe Manuel Tapial should be informed that his own ideas are much more comparable with E.T.A.'s than a person wearing a Star of David, not only because the organization behind the Gaza flotilla, the I.H.H., has been linked with terrorist organizations by the Danish Institute for International Studies and the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, but also because E.T.A. and Manuel Tapial share a common ideology regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Manuel Tapial is a member of the Comité de Solidaridad con la Causa Árabe (Solidarity with the Arab Cause Committee). In its website we can find this article, written by Manuel Tapial himself. He states the following (translated as accurate as possible, between quotation marks):
"As an activist, I refuse to assume the official positions and to justify the massacre of civilians, and I refuse to condemn the legitimate resistance of a people under so brutal attacks. The tools of every people are those which are considered the most useful to defend themselves, and in this case I recognize Hamas' moral authority to defend the Gaza Strip, a zone where through free elections most of the people chose it to represent them in the Palestinian parliament. Poor Palestinians who chose the erroneous option. Don't we the Western countries agree on that kind of electoral system of one person, one vote?"
In the next paragraph he proposes to recognize the legitimacy of the armed operations carried out in Lebanon and Palestine, which he dares to compare with the armed resistance against Francisco Franco during the 1936 to 1939 Spanish Civil War and that against the nazis during the Second World War, and ends suggesting the disruption of Spanish-Israeli relations.
He ends his article with the following words: "Viva the Resistance, Viva the struggle of the Palestinian people!"
This comes from a pro-E.T.A. website. It's an article under the title País Vasco, una cultura de resistencia (Basque Country, a culture of resistance) which uses a language similar to Manuel Tapial's:
"E.T.A. continued with its activities after Franco's death.
During these days E.T.A. has attracted the attention of the media due to its car bombs and its actions against the Spanish government, which continuously derive on the escalation of the repression against the Basques, against revolutionary groups of resistance and even anarchists.
In spite of the fact that nationalism is usually implemented by the State to maintain its people in a situation of ignorance, the Basque nation, like others, is still absorbed by the powers of the capitalist western world (Spain and France).
The struggle for the freedom of the Basque people is important, being one of many battles against the fascist opression."
While Manuel Tapial recognized Hamas as a legitimate organization entitled to represent the Palestinians, sympathizers of E.T.A. (and E.T.A. itself) have been denouncing the banning of political parties (such as Batasuna) which support E.T.A. and try to appear before the public opinion as the legitimate representatives of the Basque people. One example is Segi, a pro-E.T.A. youth organization which protested against the aforementioned banning, as can be read in the same pro-E.T.A. website, in an article under the title Segi denuncia la ilegalización de Batasuna y la estrategia aniquiladora contra Euskal Herria (Segi denounces the banning of Batasuna and the destructive strategy against Euskal Herria, being Euskal Herria the country of the euskera, or Basque language).
Furthermore, E.T.A. and its sympathizers, and Manuel Tapial himself, support Hamas in a similar manner. The same pro-E.T.A. website published an article under this title: Solidaridad con la resistencia del pueblo palestino frente a las atrocidades del ejército israelí (Solidarity with the resistance of the Palestinian people against the atrocities of the Israeli army).
So, who are acting like supporters of terrorism, those who refuse to condemn the Israeli raid on the Gaza flotilla due to the proofs against many of the activists who were on board the Mavi Marmara and the lack of evidence against any single Israeli, or those who ally themselves with organizations linked to terrorist groups, while supporting terrorist activities and criticizing a State like members and supporters of E.T.A. usually do?
To portray the Magen David as a terrorist symbol... And then he pretends not to appear as an anti-Semite before the public opinion.