Saturday, November 24, 2012

Not everything is wrong with Spain when it comes about the Jews.

One of the most notorious crimes committed against the Jewish people across History took place here in Spain: the 1492 Alhambra Decree, issued by the Catholic Monarchs, which obliged Spanish Jews to leave the country or to convert to Christianity. It is not exactly known how many had to leave or to convert involuntarily, but descendants of exiled Jews can now receive the Spanish citizenship through a shortener, expedited process.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Spanish press about the Operation Pillar of Cloud (III).

An article was published by Público under the title Los bombardeos israelíes sobre Gaza se ceban con los niños (The Israeli bombings on Gaza hit the children) on Monday, November 19th, 2012. Such a suggestive title is embellished with another suggestive item: a photograph showing dead Palestinian children. It is explicitly told in the article that the Operation Pillar of Cloud is hitting Gazan children like the Operation Cast Lead did four years ago.

Such a politically motivated, irresponsible use of dead children by part of the Spanish press just sucks.

Meanwhile, Público reported that Lior Hayat, who works for the Israeli Embassy in Madrid, had to cancel a speech at the Carlos III University because his safety couldn't be granted due to the protests held by pro-Palestinian students.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Spanish press about the Operation Pillar of Cloud (II).

On Tuesday, November 20th, 2012, El País published an article by Ana Carbajosa under the title El sur de Israel pide mano dura (Southern Israel asks for firm hand). This time we can read this:

"Running towards bomb shelters has almost been the only routine in Ashkelon during these days. Here, like in the rest of Southern Israel, life was broken last Wednesday, when the targeted killing of Hamas' military chief started an intense launching of Palestinian rockets. (...) [Ashkelon's] (...) 130,000 inhabitants have been living under the danger posed by rockets for years."

It's easy to observe an inherent contradiction within this paragraph. First it is written that the targeted killing of Ahmed Jabari "started an intense launching of Palestinian rockets" which made the life in Southern Israel to be "broken", when later it is written that Ashkelon residents have been being attacked  with rockets "for years". These two ideas are necessarily incompatible, being only the second the right one.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Spanish press about the Operation Pillar of Cloud (I).

On Wednesday, November 14th, 2012, the Tzahal began the Operation Pillar of Cloud (also known as Pillar of Defense) through the targeted killing of Ahmed Jabari, who was a key member of Hamas' Izz ad-Din al Qassam Martyrs Brigades; this was in response to rocket and mortar attacks perpetrated by Hamas and other terrorist organizations based on the Gaza Strip during the last years. Israel has been targeting other locations since then, while Palestinian terrorists have been firing more rockets.

Spanish daily El País published an article by its correspondet in Jerusalem, Ana Carbajosa, on Sunday, November 18th, under the title El Ejército israelí golpea a la población civil de la franja de Gaza (The Israeli Army hits the Gaza strip's civilian population). The article contains the photograph of two Palestinian children killed; only in an annexed photogallery pictures of Israeli civilians under fire are also shown. The article also deals with the Israeli strike against a building used both by the press and Hamas itself, but omitting that this Palestinian terrorist organization was present there.

Meanwhile, online newspaper MÁSPúblico has published an article on Monday, November 19th, under the title Los muertos de Gaza tienen nombre (The dead from Gaza have a name). At the moment of writing this article of my own, 84 names of Palestinians killed during the Operation Pillar of Cloud have already been published. MÁSPúblico's article reads that the list will be updated. Not a single Israeli civilian killed is named.

Monday, November 5, 2012

How to incite hatred against Israel even when it comes about the Netherlands.

On Monday, November 5th, 2012, El País published an article about the problems of the new Dutch coalition cabinet (composed of liberals and social democrats), under the title El Gobierno de centroizquierda holandés se estrena con un alza de costes sanitarios (The Dutch centre-left Government makes its debut with a rise in sanitary costs). In the second paragraph is written the following (translated as accurate as possible, between quotation marks):

"The last Dutch centre-right government (in minority), headed by [Mark] Rutte himself, had to hand over the demands made by the xenophobic leader, Geert Wilders, in exchange of his support in the Parliament, and aligning himself with Israel. That produced moments of major embarrasment for a country which has boasted about its tolerance. At the beginning of this year, for example, the Netherlands were the only E.U. member which rejected to address a report concerning the violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians."

One could ask Isabel Ferrer, the author of the article and El País' correspondet to The Hague, why being aligned with Israel prevents a sovereign State like the Netherlands to be still considered a tolerant country; specially when an A.D.L. report published in March 2012 shows that Spain is less tolerant than the Netherlands towards Jews by almost all indicators, as well as the most intolerant country (when compared to Poland, Russia, Germany, France, the U.K. and the United States) towards Jews and muslims, according to a Pew Research Center report published in 2008.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Not in Spanish news: Palestinian rockets hit Israel ahead of the new school year.

The Spanish press didn't hesitate to report about the shelling of the al-Fakhura school in the Gaza Strip during the Operation Cast Lead a few years ago; Matanza en escuelas de la ONU (Massacres at UN schools) is an example of this, a very unfortunate one, by the way, because of its obvious bias against Israel.

But when it comes to Palestinians firing rockets ahead of the new school year in Israel, Spanish mainstream media remains silent.

News bulletin in English on these recent events, here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Not in Spanish news: refugees with Palestinian backgrounds singled out and rejected by Jordan.

The current civil war in Syria has caused a large humanitarian crisis which includes tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the country. One of the countries bordering Syria is Jordan to the south, so the Hashemite Kingdom is one of those refugees' destinations. Many of those who are fleeing Syria are people with Palestinian backgrounds and, according to a Human Rights Watch report, they're being constantly singled out and rejected by Jordanian authorities, as reported by The Jerusalem Post's Ruth Eglash on Wednesday, July 4th, 2012. Excerpts from the article below:

"(...) The population balance between Jordanians with Palestinian heritage and those without is a contentious issue in the Hashemite Kingdom.

According to the HRW report released on Wednesday, since mid-April Jordanian authorities have been singling out Syrians of Palestinian origin, sending them to holding facilities in or around the town of Ramtha. In the meantime, other Syrian refugees have been allowed to move freely in Jordan if they have a local guarantor."

When Israel rejects a hypothetical Palestinian return to the Jewish State due to the demographic threat it objectively represents, Israel is labelled as "racist". But when the country which rejects Palestinians under the same premise (i.e., a demographic threat) is not Israel, then there is no reason to report about it.

At least, not here in Spain.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Palestinian prisoners in... Palestine?

On Monday, May 7th, 2012, El País published an article by Ana Carbajosa under the title Israel deniega la excarcelación a dos presos palestinos al borde de la muerte (Israel rejects to release two almost dead Palestinian prisoners). Excerpts from the article below (translated as accurate as possible, between quotation marks):

"Adameer, the Palestinian association which provides legal counseling to many of the prisoners, denounces that penitentiary authorities have begun a campaign of reprisals against the strikers, who are said to be deprived of visits, access to lawyers and all kind of personal goods. Some of them are even confined in isolation cells, according to Adameer."

All these measures are actually applied in the jails of almost every single democratic State. It's a way to fight against those prisoners who don't adapt themselves to the rules of the jail or who incite others to commit rebellious acts.

Ana Carbajosa's article also deals with the Israeli administrative detention:

"However, institutions like the European Union have criticized in the past the 'excessive use' of this Israeli legal precept, which according to the international legislation should be applied in very exceptional cases and to prevent damages which couldn't be prevented in another way."

Precisely an exceptional case is that of Israel. It's not a country which fights against terrorism under the same circumstances Spain or the Federal Republic of Germany have fought under against E.T.A. and the Red Army Fraction, respectively. Israel fights terrorism in the context of an armed conflict, thus making the terrorists enemies of the State during wartime. And enemies of the State during wartime, irrespective of the fact that they're terrorists or not, are not held in the same conditions as conventional criminals.

More examples of Spanish newspapers denouncing Israel's treatment of Palestinian prisoners are Público (Thousands of Palestinian prisoners go on hunger strike), El Mundo (More than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners go on hunger strike) and ABC (Barbecues to disrupt the hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners), for example.

But there is something the Spanish mainstream media doesn't talk about, at least not usually: those Palestinian prisoners who are held by their fellow Palestinians in Palestinian territory. The Jerusalem Post, however,  informs about it. For example, on Sunday, May 13th, 2012, this Israeli newspaper published an article by Khaled Abu Toameh under the title Fatah prisoners held by Hamas go on hunger strike.

And Hamas can't argue that the prisoners it holds are enemies of the State during wartime. Actually, those Palestinians held (or something even worse than just being held) by Hamas are mainly political prisoners who are suspected to be members of al-Fatah, the faction which fights against Hamas for the Palestinian political hegemony. It should also be noticed that Hamas is a terrorist organization and not a legitimate authority which could be legally recognized as such. What Hamas pretends when arresting Palestinians suspected to be members of al-Fatah or to support it, is to terrorize its fellow countrymen, warning them neither to show any sort of sympathy nor to join or help main Hamas' political rival in Palestine.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Telecinco turns a blow to the face into a shot.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post on Monday, April 16th, 2012, an Israeli soldier who hit a Danish pro-Palestinian activist in the face with his rifle will be subjected to an investigation.

Also on this day, Spanish TV channel Telecinco reported about the issue. In its news bulletin, at 15:00 hours, the event was literally portrayed as an example of the way in which the Israeli army exercises repression against pro-Palestinian activists, thus extending the guilt over the incident to all Israeli soldiers. But in its official website, Telecinco showed one of the most shocking distortion of facts I've ever read: the blow to the activit's face was not a blow, but a shot. He was fired upon. A rifle bullet was what the activist received in his face.

Under the title Israel suspende a un militar que disparó contra un activista pro palestino (Israel suspends a soldier who shot a pro Palestinian activist), we can read what follows (translated as accurate as possible, between quotation marks):

"The incident took place on Saturday, as declared to the Army Radio by Yoav Mordechai [a military spokesman]. Lieutenant colonel Shalom Eisner can be seen in the video bearing his M-16 rifle with both hands and shooting against a group of individuals who were participating in a march by bicycle in the West Bank.

One of the shots hit in a Danish citizen's face, who fell down and was evacuated by other activists. The activist, whose name is Andreas Ias, was looked after minor injuries in a Palestinian hospital and has declared to the Israeli media he is OK."

There are two videos on YouTube which show the incident. One lasts for 14 seconds and shows Ias being punched in the face. The other shows several incidents recorded on that day, lasts for 2 minutes and 16 seconds, is reserved to adult YouTube users only and also shows Ias being punched.

I only have a question: does somebody see or hear any single bullet being fired?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

#HITLER becomes trending topic in Spain; anti-Semitic jokes arise.

As most of you probably know, Twitter is a social network which shows those issues which become trending topics (or T.T.'s) in a specific country, and sometimes even in a certain area or city within that country. From 23:35 on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012, until 2:45 on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012, #HITLER became T.T. in Spain, and anti-Semitic jokes arose.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Untold stories.

As shown before (read here and here), not only what the Spanish mainstream media tells must be taken into account in order to understand the way it treats Israel; for this purpose, what the media doesn't tell is also important. Misinformation and deception don't only come from half-truths, exaggerations and fabrications, but also from deliberate omissions.

Spanish mainstream media usually denounces how a Palestinian refugee problem was prompted by Israel; what the media doesn't tell here is that the Palestinian Ambassador to Lebanon, Abdullah Abdullah, declared in September, 2011, that the Palestinian refugees in countries such as Lebanon or Jordan, as well as even inside the Palestinian territories, wouldn't be eligible to become citizens of the proposed Palestinian State, if created.

Does it make sense when it is usually alleged that a hypothetical Palestinian State would be created in order to serve precisely as a national homeland for the Palestinian people? If the Palestinian refugee problem is so important for the Spanish media from a humanitarian perspective, why not to denounce Abdullah and for this future policy he is announcing?

Is it maybe because Abdullah Abdullah is Palestinian instead of Israeli and works for the P.L.O. but not for Israel?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Manuel Tapial's anti-Semitism exposed again.

Isaac Querub is the president of the F.C.J.E. (Federación de Comunidades Judías de España or Spain's Federation of Jewish Communities). He was interviewed by the Spanish daily El País and claimed that Holocaust denial should constitute a punishable offense in Spain (which was the case before a 2007 ruling by the Spanish Constitutional Court).

1.- This was Manuel Tapial response:

"And because of Israel denial, do they want to imprison us for that? Put me the first in the line."

2.- Manuel Tapial's contact Santi Garcia Avila answered:

"The Spanish state should expel every Jew who doesn't recognize the Palestinian holocaust."

Please notice such an example of anti-Semitism: Jews should be expelled if they deny a Palestinian holocaust, a fact which isn't happening nor happened before in strictly historical terms. And he is referring to those Jews located in Spain but not to the Spaniards as a whole, which means he is singling them out. Just because they're Jews?

3.- In this third screencapture we can observe how Manuel Tapial likes Santi Garcia Avila's comment. Does that mean Manuel Tapial would support such an anti-Semitic measure? Please remember what the Spanish laws tell about this in the article 510 of the Penal Code.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Manuel Tapial and terrorism (III).

Manuel Tapial is a Spanish pro-Palestinian activist who was on board the Mavi Marmara when this ship was assaulted by Israel's Tzahal in 2010. Though he declares himself a pacifist, he has a long history of support for terrorism (read here and here), which constitutes a criminal offense according to the Spanish Penal Code.

Now let's read how his self-procclaimed pacifism is contradicted by what he wrote (translated as accurate as possible, between quotation marks):

1.- On Thursday, January 12th, 2012, Manuel Tapial wrote the following:
"The tremendous shamelessness of the European political class before the occupation of Palestine, could, in the medium term, reverse the increasing feeling of struggling lawfully and in a pacific way which characterizes the Palestinians when achieving their legitimate rights..."

Manuel Tapial seems not to pay too much attention to what has been going on in the Middle East for the last years. The truth is that the way the Palestinians are struggling have been consisting mainly of this.

2.- Manuel Tapial himself suggests to harass Israeli citizens worlwide just because of their nationality (which is also punishable under Spanish laws), as he wrote lately from Nicaragua:

"The same [wall] Israel will use to isolate the Palestinians is the one the world's civil society should build to isolate Israel and its practices in order to make them realize their criminal attitude is not tolerable! I'm happy to be in Nicaragua and to see that Israeli citizens here are asked and questioned constantly about what they do to the Palestinians, don't let this people even a single minute of rest!"

3.- On Monday, December 26th, 2011, Manuel Tapial published an article in his own blog. He later linked to his article via Facebook, as shown in the screen capture. What he wrote in his blog includes the following:

"Under the present scene, all indicates we are called to write the History of our epoch. New persons will have to make them known publicly this year around the new struggles which appear before us (..) emulating Rosa Parks, Angela Davis, Ulrike Meinhof, Leila Khaled, Steve Bico, Fonseca, Salvador Puig Antic[h] and many others,..."

Of those individuals mentioned, at least two, Ulrike Meinhof and Leila Khaled, are well known terrorists. Ulrike Meinhof was part of the R.A.F. (Rote Armee Fraktion or Red Army Fraction), a West German extreme-left terrorist organization, while Leila Khaled was the first known woman who hijacked a civil passenger aircraft, in this case on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Indeed, daring to compare those two terrorists with Rosa Parks, who is a symbol against racism, is insulting.

Manuel Tapial's link in Facebook was answered by one of his contacts in the social network: Sarai Costas Silva. She commented the following:

"Ulrike Meinhof, extrajudicially executed by the 'Federal Republic of Germany' (the specific executor organism is still to be determined; maybe their intelligence service?) at the Stammheim prison in 1977."

And under this comment, Sarai Costas Silva wrote another one:

"Also executed by the Federal Germany's security apparatus were, in Stammheim, Andreas Baader, his girlfriend Gudrun Ensslin, and Jan Carl-Raspe. The same night during which these three executions were carried out, they tried to do the same to Irmgard Möller, but they failed.

All of these were the leaders of the first generation of the Red Army Fraction. Earlier, another of its member, Holger Meins, had been executed in prison, leaving him dying from starvation (he had begun a hunger strike)."

4.- As we can see in the screen capture bellow, Manuel Tapial liked Sarai Costas Silva's first comment. Does it mean he really believes in such an absurd conspiracy theory about West German extrajudicial executions of prison inmates?

5.- Finally, we can see here how Manuel Tapial supports another well known terrorist: Venezuelan-born Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, also know as Carlos the Jackal, who is currently serving life imprisonment sentence for the murders of two French security officials and a Lebanese contact, among other crimes. The multiple crime happened in Paris in June 27th, 1975. He was apprehended in Sudan in 1994.