(JTA) — Spanish priests whose church canceled a planned projection of an anti-Israel film blamed the cancellation on threats and how “dying Negroes are less important than the powerful Jews.”
Pastor Javier Baeza’s comments about blacks in a newspaper interview Friday were decried by the pro-Israel ACOM group as part of a “fundamentally anti-Semitic narrative” involving both Jews and Israel in the predominantly Catholic kingdom of Spain.
On Saturday, the controversial film, “Gaza, a look into the eyes of barbarism,” whose critics say is one-sided and inaccurate, won the “Best Documentary” category of the Goyas, the Spanish equivalent of the Oscars.
Baeza referenced black people in saying that no one complained against his screening last month of a film about Africans dying en route to Europe. But “there were pressures from the Jewish community” to cancel the projection Friday of the film, he told El Pais, before proposing his conclusion about powerful Jews.
The film was scheduled to be screened Friday at the Pastoral Center of San Carlos Borrome in southeastern Madrid but Carlos Osoro, the archbishop of Madrid, said the church is “obligated” to suspend the projection indefinitely out of security concerns “because of the threats we’ve received in the last few days.”
The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain said in a statement the film was being promoted by organizations promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, which he said “seeks to delegitimize Israel and Israelis.” But the group is not aware of any threats.