Spanish Jews demand tougher laws on online anti-Semitism


(JTA) — The president of Spain’s Jewish community called for changes to the country’s penal code to better combat online anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. 

Isaac Querub, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain, said at a seminar on anti-Semitism in Barcelona on Thursday that Article 510 of the Spanish penal code, which deals with racism, needs to be amended to address hate speech on the Internet. He said a similar amendment needs to be made to Article 607, which deals with incitement to genocide.

Referring to a survey form 2011, Qerub said that 35 percent of Spanish students would not like a Jewish study partner.

“We know that prejudices against Jews persist in Spain,” he added.

Spain’s conservative government last month unveiled proposed amendments to the country’s criminal code that would make Holocaust denial illegal should its aim be to incite violence.

In 2009, the Spanish daily El Mundo interviewed Holocaust denier David Irving, listing him as an “expert” on World War II. The paper’s editors said the interview was constitutionally protected free speech. The Anti-Defamation League called the interview “an embarrassment to Spain.”

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