Jewish 100, 2014: José Maria Aznar – Government
José Maria Aznar
Former Prime Minister of Spain
As Prime Minister of Spain from 1996-2004, Aznar established himself as one of the most pro-American and pro-Israeli leaders to take office in post-war Europe. Since then, Aznar has dedicated himself to the cause of open, democratic societies governed by the rule of law; as he himself has said, “only societies that are free and respect the rule of law are truly democratic.” Defending Israel has been a core element of that goal. Terrorism, Aznar believes, is the “greatest threat to freedom today,” and Israel finds itself in the front line. In 2010, he founded the Friends of Israel Initiative, declaring that if Israel “goes down, we all go down.” Aznar has also advocated Israel’s full membership, without preconditions, of the European Union.