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January 5, 2015 5:29 pm

Major Jewish Group Demands Clarification From Spanish Foreign Minister Over Financing of Anti-Semitic Activities

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avatar by Ben Cohen

Pro-BDS literature on display at a conference supported by Spain's Foreign Ministry. Photo: Simon Wiesenthal Center

Spain’s Foreign Ministry has been taken to task by the Simon Wiesenthal Center for funding what the Jewish advocacy group described as “antisemitic activities and forums” through one of its subsidiary institutions.

In a report submitted today to the Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, the Center’s European representative, Dr. Shimon Samuels, observed that the Ministry’s Agency for International Cooperation (AECID) had provided finance for an exhibition at a university in Madrid that engaged traditionally anti-Semitic tropes to condemn Israel, as well as conferences in Malaga and Seville that promoted BDS and the so-called “one state solution” to the Palestinian conflict with Israel.

The exhibition, which has been on display at the Autonomous University of Madrid’s Economics Faculty since December 3, used “egregious anti-Jewish language and tropes of the type condemned by the European Union Working Definition of Antisemitism and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Berlin Declaration, both issued in 2004,” Samuels wrote, adding: “Spain,of course is a State party in both cases.”

Items at the exhibition include a map of Israel adorned with a Nazi swastika, a photo of the late Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, accompanied by what Samuels called “a fabricated unsourced quote paraphrased from the Nazi period: ‘I do not recognize international principles. I swear to burn every Palestinian child born in this area,'” and a reference to “more than 2 million persons in ghettos or concentration camps” enclosed by Israel’s security fence.

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Samuels claimed that the university had agreed to “immediately remove” the exhibition following complaints, but had not complied to far.

The conferences in Malaga and Seville were designed to showcase “Local Government and Civil Society Organizations in Support of Palestine.” According to Samuels, “this forum planned the international Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign for 2015 against the State of Israel. There we learned of forthcoming BDS motions to be presented at the American Anthropological Association and the American Historical Association.” Samuels also registered his horror “that boycott compliant Universities were to be honored as ‘Israel Apartheid – Free Campuses’ and municipalities would extol compliant shops and businesses as ‘Israel Apartheid-Free Zones’ – redolent of the Nazi designation ‘Judenrein’ (ethnically cleansed of Jews).”

The Wiesenthal Center report spotlighted a conference document entitled “Andalucia con Palestina” (Andalusia with Palestine), commenting, “for any Jihadist in the audience, this is the call for reconquest of the lost territories of the Caliphate.”

“That fate surely cannot be Spanish policy,” Samuels concluded.

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