More than 50 groups urge Spanish government to combat anti-Semitism

They denounce the ‘inexplicable situation of paralysis’ in the face of the growth of anti-Semitism
Partidarios pro-israelíes se abrazan durante las protestas cerca del consulado de Israel el 8 de octubre de 2023 en Nueva Ciudad de York 

PHOTO/ Adam Gray / GETTY IMAGES NORTEAMÉRICA / Getty Images vía AFP
Pro-Israeli supporters embrace during protests near the Israeli consulate on October 8, 2023 in New York City
  1. Stop the growth of hatred
  2. Full letter

The conflict in Gaza has brought with it a rise in anti-Semitism that concerns - or at least should - a large number of groups and organisations. Since the Hamas terrorist attack on 7 October and the ensuing Israeli response, accusations of genocide and hate speech against the Hebrew country have escalated enormously. So much so that more than 50 organisations have already signed a petition calling on the Spanish government to give ‘new impetus’ to the agreements approved by the European Union and signed by Spain to combat anti-Semitism.

Stop the growth of hatred

In the letter addressed to Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, the signatories point directly to ‘well-known Spanish political representatives, including high-ranking government officials, participating alongside anti-Semitic organisations’. Not only do they denounce the passivity of the authorities with regard to this growth of anti-Semitism, but even high-ranking politicians may be encouraging it.

REUTERS/Ilan Rosenberg - Vista aérea muestra los cuerpos de las víctimas de un ataque tras una infiltración masiva de pistoleros de Hamás desde la Franja de Gaza, yacen en el suelo en el Kibbutz Kfar Aza, en el sur de Israel, el 10 de octubre de 2023
Aerial view shows the bodies of victims of an attack following a mass infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, lie on the ground at Kibbutz Kfar Aza in southern Israel October 10, 2023 - REUTERS/Ilan Rosenberg

Among the expressions mentioned in the letter are such expressions as ‘terrorist Israel’ or ‘genocidal Israel’, accusations which they describe as ‘unlawful’. To this must also be added slogans such as 'From the river to the sea, Palestine will win', which, according to the letter - you can read it in full at the end of this article - ‘make no sense in the Western world’.

The same letter refers to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance which, they claim, is in a ‘situation of inexplicable paralysis’. They should be the first to fight anti-Semitism, something that has been made explicit in the Implementation Plan of the European Strategy against anti-Semitism, against the Holocaust and for the protection of the Jewish way of life. 

Full letter

Read the full letter to Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez here:

Open letter to the Spanish Prime Minister and parliamentary groups on the rise of anti-Semitism in the wake of the situation in the Middle East.

The Iranian government's surprise war attack on the people of Israel on 13 April 2024, with some 350 drones including high-powered missiles, as well as the persistent attacks by Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Houthis among other groups, has revealed the true nature of what is happening in Gaza and other enclaves in Palestine.

In response, several Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Jordan, have participated in Israel's defence alongside the US and with the support of other Western countries.

The response of well-known Spanish political representatives, including high-ranking government officials, participating alongside anti-Semitic organisations that disseminate annihilationist slogans such as ‘From the River to the Sea, Palestine will win’ - banned as anti-Semitic in the USA - as well as criminalising epithets, makes no sense in our Western world. Anti-legal expressions such as ‘genocidal Israel’ or ‘terrorist Israel’ and calls supported by ‘banned organisations’ such as Samidou in Germany or other countries are also unacceptable. The permissiveness with BDS, together with all of the above, reflects the very little intervention by the Spanish government in the face of all the actions that this Charter denounces.

Our country, represented at the time by Ms Carmen Calvo as First Vice-President of the Spanish Government, was a signatory to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) declaration instituted in Bucharest on 26 May 2016. The IHRA commits us to the fight against anti-Semitism. This same commitment has been made explicit in the Implementation Plan of the European Strategy against Anti-Semitism, against Holocaust denial and for the protection of the Jewish way of life.

The climate of intolerance towards Jews and their kindred is spreading throughout the world, including Spain, and is encouraged across the board by various ultra-left, neo-fascist and ultra-Islamist groups, to name but a few. This is especially evident in public demonstrations, where cries of disqualification and delegitimisation of Israel are accompanied by others such as ‘death to the Jews’. The ‘cheers for the brigades’ of various criminal groups linked to the anti-Semitic and misogynist terrorist massacre of 7 October 2023, and more recently, the warmongering ‘cheers for Iran’ for its recent aggression against Israel, fuel this unreason and bigotry. Expressing and disseminating such proclamations and messages is not only morally obscene, it is a crime.

The result of this growing climate of anti-Semitic intolerance is the generation of hate crimes ranging from insults and threats to attacks on individuals, synagogues and businesses, and even possible terrorist attacks. Constant incitement to hatred, discrimination, hostility and violence lead to the trivialisation of the Holocaust and Genocide, while attacks are applauded and terrorism is glorified.

Spanish society is perplexed by the passive attitude, if not collaboration, of various university authorities who facilitate the use of classrooms for the dissemination of anti-Semitism and the distortion of the dramatic events of the Holocaust, under the self-serving umbrella of the conflict between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organisation. The silence of the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE) and/or the Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities himself on the use of Spanish public institutions for purposes which, by their very nature, are not their own, is unacceptable. 

The media, consciously or not, contribute to the dissemination of messages that lead to serious errors of stigmatisation and disinformation.

Publishing lies, such as the one about the origin of the missile that fell on the Al Shifa hospital, for which the Israeli army was blamed without evidence, is evidence of the casualness in disseminating false news whose source is Hamas, one of the parties to the conflict. 

We would like to remind the media of the need to broadcast truthful and verified information, to comply with the standards of journalistic rigour and to verify the facts they report.

Consequently, as representatives of Spanish Society, and moved exclusively by the duty to watch over the nation's concord, we urge them to give new impetus to the agreements approved by the European Union and signed by Spain to combat anti-Semitism, as well as to the IHRA's own declaration, which is currently in an inexplicable situation of paralysis.

 We also call for the disavowal of the actions of politicians who, in the exercise of their official responsibilities, engage in such anti-Semitic behaviour.

 We believe that the intervention of the State Attorney General's Office, and its delegation for hate crimes, is necessary, given the exponential growth in anti-Semitic crime that the Observatory against Anti-Semitism notes every day.

Sign this Open Letter
Platform Against Anti-Semitism
Hispanic-Israeli Forum for Cooperation
Spanish-Israeli Friendship Association
Ibero-American Coordinating Committee against Racism and Antisemitism
Madrid against Antisemitism
Beit Emunah Jewish Community of Asturias
Asturias against Antisemitism
Asturian Association of Friends of Israel
Gijón against Antisemitism
Centre for Judeo-Christian Studies
Basque Association of Friends of Israel
Asociació de Relacions Culturals Catalunya-Israel (Catalonia-Israel Cultural Relations Association)
Granada against Antisemitism
Malaga against Antisemitism
Seville against Antisemitism
Marbella against Antisemitism
Jaén against Antisemitism
Valencia-Israel Friendship Association
Valencia against Antisemitism
Alicante-Israel Institute of Culture
Alicante against Antisemitism
Castellón against Antisemitism
Institute for Cultural Relations Balearic Islands-Israel
Mallorca against Antisemitism
Galicia against Antisemitism
 Jewish-Aragonese Friendship
Valladolid against Antisemitism
Ponferrada against Antisemitism
Zamora against Antisemitism
Santander against Antisemitism
León against Antisemitism
Betanzos against Antisemitism
Galicia-Israel Friendship Association
Vigo against Antisemitism
Galicia against Antisemitism
Instituto de Encuentro Canarias-Israel
Asociación Cultural Sefarad Aragón
Zaragoza against Antisemitism
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Contact: [email protected]