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Monday, November 21, 2011

The Right wins in Spain

In March 2004, Atocha, the main train station in Madrid, was the target of a major terror attack. 191 people were killed and 1800 were wounded. The attack occurred three days before a major national election, and unfortunately, the Spaniards reacted like dhimmis. The incumbent Jose Maria Aznar, who held a narrow lead to that point, was tossed out of office, and Leftist Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero took his place. Zapatero pulled Spanish troops out of Iraq, and has generally been hostile to the West. Zapatero was re-elected in 2008. On Sunday, Zapatero's party was thrown out (Zapatero was not a candidate) and conservative Mariano Rajoy was elected.
The bottom line, according to diplomatic officials in Jerusalem, is the likely victory of PP head Mariano Rajoy will lead to a slight improvement in relations between the two governments, but to no noticeable improvement in Spanish public opinion.

The official said Spanish public opinion – and the Spanish press – is among the most anti-Israel in Europe. As a result, he said, referring to others among Israel’s friends in Europe, “Spain under Rajoy won’t be Italy under [Silvio] Berlusconi, or Germany under [Angela] Merkel. It will be better for us, but the best scenario is that it will be like France under [Nicolas] Sarkozy.”

Spain, which voted for accepting Palestine as a member state in UNESCO earlier this month, is not likely to change its voting pattern at the UN under the new government, the official said.

Regarding anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic public opinion in Spain, Israel’s former ambassador to the country, Raphael Schutz, decried the “anti-Semitism and hatred that exist in Spanish society” in a posting on the embassy’s website before he left his ambassadorial post in July. He said his tenure in Madrid was “not very pleasant.”

“I am ending a four-year term as Israel’s ambassador to Spain and returning to Israel to continue my diplomatic career in the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem,” he wrote in the message.

“I also take with me the hatred and the anti-Semitism that still exist in Spanish society, and which I experienced personally.”

A poll released by the Spanish government in 2010 found that one of every three Spaniards holds negative views of Jews, and one in nine agrees with the statement that “Israel should disappear because it was established on Arab land.” Anti- Defamation League and Pew Research Center polls from 2008 and 2009 showed nearly half of the country held anti-Semitic views.
Spain is a very anti-Semitic country. Even Jose Maria Aznar, who is known today as being very pro-Israel (watch that video if you haven't seen it before), was not outspoken in his support for Israel while he was in office.

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At 7:40 PM, Blogger Brett Hetherington said...

Yes, sadly their is plenty of anti-Semitism here in Spain. I too, referred to Raphael Schutz's words on thi subject in this blog:


and some other recent examples of anti-Semitism in Spain here including this distyrbing one:


At 3:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the article; "one in nine agrees with the statement that “Israel should disappear because it was established on Arab land.” -------------- Can't the same be said about current day Spain???

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Brett Hetherington said...

I don't believe it is quite so severe as that here at this time. The main problem is ignorance and what I call auto-racism (unthinking) which affects many other groups as well. But there is still so much to learn and an widespraed intolerance which is at times frightening.

We have a lot of work to do!!!

(But there some encouraging developments sometimes too.) See here about Walter Benjamin:



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