|February 12 – New York – AJC today rebuked Spanish newspaper El Mundo for publishing an openly anti-Semitic column, and expressed concern over the increasing level of anti-Semitism in Spain.|
Last week, El Mundo published a piece by columnist Antonio Gala, titled “Chosen People,” which blamed Jews’ “greed” and “scorn for other peoples” for the persecution of Jews throughout history. Referring to Israel, Gala wrote: “Without putting a stop to avarice and false accounts, the Jewish people will succumb once more. … Wouldn’t this people do right to ask itself why it always goes through the same thing? Or is it maybe the rest of the world that is mistaken?”
“This vile anti-Semitic screed is just one example of the blatant bigotry sponsored by major Spanish newspapers over the past several weeks,” said AJC Executive Director David A. Harris. “Why is it that leading Spanish media outlets can freely sponsor hatred against Jews, and no one even bats an eyelash? It’s time for Spanish opinion leaders to look themselves in the mirror and ask why anti-Semitism is skyrocketing in their country, and what they’re doing to stop it.”
Spanish law prohibits anti-Jewish hate speech and the justification of the Holocaust.
AJC previously wrote a letter to the editors of El País after that newspaper published an anti-Semitic cartoon during the Gaza crisis, and condemned the Catalan regional government for canceling a commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day due to Israeli military action.
According to the 2008 Pew Global Attitudes Project, Spain has the highest level of anti-Semitism in Europe, with more Spaniards holding negative than positive views of Jews.