Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Of Spanish Hatred

In 1986, Dry Bones published a cartoon acknowledging Spain's belated recognition of Israel (decades after the rest of Europe had). He congratulated them for their simultaneous Don Qixote ("I shall right a wrong and recognized their little state") and Sancho Panza ("but I'll still support the PLO") stance. For many Jews, it was a big event. After all, Spain is still well-remembered as the country that expelled its entire Jewish community in 1492 and which, alone amongst the so-called enlightened European powers, refused to allow it to return for centuries. The recent government of Jose Zapatero (a man that bears an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Bean) has done its best to antagonize Israel and show its anti-Semitic love for our State's enemies as much as possible. You want hostile Jew hatred covered under a thin veneer of Eurointellectualism? Go to Spain!
This recent tidbit should therefore come as no suprise:
The Spanish judge's decision to launch legal proceedings against, more or less, the entire top brass of Israel's security establishment at the time of Salah Shehade's assassination in July 2002 has left the official Israel wide-mouthed and helpless. As it turns out, the Dreyfus Affair is in fact ongoing history that repeats itself at various locations, times, and contexts, yet the ant-Semitic undertones are always present...
According to a legal source in Madrid, Justice Fernando Andeo decided to grant the petition filed by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights "in the name of universal justice," which Spain recognizes in all matters pertaining to crimes against humanity and genocide. ..
Salah Shehade was a Palestinian arch-terrorist, the head of Hamas' military wing in Gaza, and the founder of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades. He was a man who ceaselessly engaged in terror and in the murder of Jews – for 20 consecutive years, even when he was jailed in Israel.
Shehade planned and approved a very long series of terror attacks, including the murder of five yeshiva students in Atzmona and the killing of four IDF soldiers in an attack on an army post near Gaza.
Israel attempted to assassinate him for a long time. Eventually, Shehade was killed when his home was bombed, in a strike that also killed his aide and 14 others, including his wife and three of his children, as well as women and children who were his neighbors. Yet it is needless to say that it is the State of Israel's existential right and duty to assassinate people like Shehade.
Is it anti-Semitic? Of course it is. But is offical Israel really wide-mouthed and helpless? Of course it isn't. But the proper steps to respond to this provocation require guts, something the Israeli government is currently short of.
The Israeli government could easily deal with this situation in a few simple steps. The first would be to call in the Spanish ambassador, tell him his country has been a third world basket case ever since the British wiped out the Spanish Armada, and then send him packing. The second is to recall the Israeli ambassador from Spain after he finishing plugging all the toilets in the embassy. The final step would be to make an international announcement to all Jews, Israeli and not, that travelling to Spain is a risk that should not be taken and that if any Israeli or non-Israeli Jewish national (because I doubt this "anti-Israeli" judgement will apply to Israeli Arabs) goes there on vacation and gets in trouble, they're on their own.
Ones of the Achilles' heels of Israeli foreign policy since the Oslo Discord has been an illogical desire to be accepted by the world community as just another nation, the ultimate realization of Teddy Herzel's dream. This slap in the face by the Spaniards should serve as a wake up call to Jewish pride. We are not the helpless people they evicted in 1492 and we will not be treated as such.


Friar Yid (not Shlita) said...

While apparently anti-Jewish sentiment is quite high in Spain, there is a fallacy in assuming that the actions of one idiot judge justify writing off the entire country, or even the Spanish government. The Foreign Minister, for one, would seem to disagree with him:

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos informed Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Friday of Spain's plan to amend legislation that granted a Spanish judge the authority to launch a much-publicized war crimes investigation against senior Israeli officials.

This is not the first Moratinos has stood up for Israel, either.

While it is true that Israel should not feel required to bend over backwards in order to feel "liked" by everyone, neither should Jews or Israelis forget the friends they do have, even in countries that may have populations who are very hostile to them. Dismissing Spain as a "basket case" would be an excellent way to do that and to make the work of good men like Moratinos all the more difficult.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Governments are run by their prime ministers and Zapatero's open hostility towards Israel and America is no secret. Spain is no friend of Israel. Maybe not an open enemy but no friend.

Friar_Yid said...

And exactly what would be achieved by antagonizing Spain into becoming an open enemy by severing diplomatic contacts?

Garnel Ironheart said...

What's the other option? Accepting Zapatero's anti-Israel hatred because he's a "friend"?