Report: Anti-Semitism rising in Spain
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Report: Anti-Semitism rising in Spain

MADRID (JTA) — Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Spain, according to a new Anti-Defamation League report.

Titled “Polluting the Public Square: Anti-Semitic Discourse in Spain,” the report released last week points to “more public expressions and greater acceptance of virulent anti-Jewish attitudes.” 

The report, which was presented to Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos, focuses on recent trends in Spain, including anti-Jewish attitudes during Israel’s Gaza military offensive last winter, and anti-Semitic cartoons and articles in Spain’s mainstream media. In addition, opinion polls conducted over the past year show a rise in anti-Semitic attitudes.  

“We are deeply concerned about the mainstreaming of anti-Semitism in Spain, with more public expressions and greater public acceptance of classic stereotypes," said Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director.

An ADL poll of European opinions taken this year found that 75 percent of Spaniards believe that Jews possess “too much power” in financial markets, compared with 53 percent in 2005, and that more than half, or 56 percent, think Jews have “too much power in business," compared with 47 percent in 2004. Nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent, believe local Jews are more loyal to Israel than to Spain, compared with 48 percent in 2004. Polls in 2005 and 2007 show the numbers continuing to rise.

Of particular concern, according to the report, are the "viciously anti-Semitic" cartoons in mainstream Spanish newspapers such as El País and El Mundo. They include a Chasid with barbed-wire side locks and a cartoon called “Jews manipulating the world with money for nefarious ends."

Opinion pieces in the mainstream media have explicitly compared Israel with the Nazi regime, an equation the European Union’s anti-racism organization considers anti-Semitic.