Monday, October 02, 2017

Juan Carlos Girauta's Error

I am not sure that all who read the anti-Catalonia piece in the Jerusalem Post caught the full force of these lines at the end:

As a liberal democracy, Israel should favor the rule of law in Spain, and make its voice heard, together with other Western allies such as the US, the EU, France and Germany, in support of Spain’s constitutional order. And it should hope Spain recognizes the signs of friendship and responds in kind with a more reliable friendship.

In doing so, Israel will also ensure that at no point will the Spanish Jewish communities, strongly Zionist, be accused of incompatible loyalties between Spain and Israel, and targeted by those who always look to claim dubious fidelity of Diaspora Jews toward their legitimate national governments.

They were composed by a member of the Spanish Congress from Barcelona on behalf of the Ciudadanos Party, one Juan Carlos Girauta.

I am willing to give Senor Girauta a bit of leeway here, but not that much.

I consider that a veiled threat, even if unintended.  He should know better.

And considering that Spain is very anti-Semitic, I doubt whether supporting Catalunia's independence will make that much difference or, for that matter, supporting a unified Spain.

Now, it so happens that it is claimed that he

expressed strong sympathies for right-wing Zionism (to the point of calling then-president Zapatero an anti-Semite

and in the matter of that 2015 Mattisyahu incident, he termed it Judeaophobic

He also called for

"protecting freedom of expression in the university classrooms of our country".

when the Faculty of Psychology of the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) on February 25, 2016, called to cancel the lecture of an Israeli professor. Haim Eshach, a specialist in teaching science and technology in the preschool stage.

Those were admirable expressions and honorable acts.

But Jews should be able to express their opinions about the countries in which they live freely with no pressure to conform and certainly not at the risk of being accused of a dubious charge of dual loyalty.  Especially in the matter of Catalonia.  As they do.

Lovers of Zion need grasp that rights and liberties as well as all civic responsibilities and obligations belong to Jews as citizens in Spain, the United States and France.

Fir if nit, is Spain a true democracy?

Well-meaning, perhaps, as his intentions were, his words need to be revised.

P.S.  And why the editor at the JPost did not excise them or rephrase then is another question.



Anonymous said...

Given his background, I'm afraid that his concern over accusations of Jewish "dual loyalty" was not meant as a threat but as an accurate observation and prediction of normative antisemitic sentiment in Spain where, it seems, it's always 1492 for its Jewish community.

YMedad said...

You may be correct.
Nevertheless, you cannot stop irrational anti-Semitism that deals in conspiracy theories but only combat it. If Catalunia deserves independence as it was in the days of Aragon, or not, should be argued on the merits and not by suggesting to Jews that if they do this, then something will happen to them.
And on the background of Spanish anti-Semitism and BDS movements, little can help.
I a sure, as I wrote, then his intentions were honorable but the wording of that section was wrong. And it could have been better worded, actually. Less blunt.