The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism

Regional lawmaker in Spain calls Barcelona Jewish community head ‘a foreign agent’

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Barcelona
– Spain’s main Jewish group threatened legal action against a local lawmaker
for calling a community leader “a foreign agent.”

 

Benet
Salellas espoused “the most repugnant form of antisemitism” and used speech
that “is wholly illegitimate in diplomatic discourse,” FCJE said Tuesday in an
unusually harshly-worded statement. The group said that unless Salellas
apologized and walked back his statements, it would press charges against him
for hate speech.

 

During
a May 12 debate in Catalonia’s parliament, Salellas accused Uriel Benguigui,
president of the Jewish Community of Barcelona, of being a “foreign agent” and
part of a “Zionist lobby,” local media reported.

 

Salellas
— a member of the Popular Unity Candidacy, a left-leaning movement in favor of
independence for the Catalonia region — apparently objected to Benguigui’s
presence at the meeting of the parliament’s foreign relations committee.

 

Salellas
repeated “the most revolting antisemitic clichés that circulated in Europe
during its dark days” and “tarnished the parliament’s image,” FCJE said in the
statement.