Saturday, September 26, 2009

Spain sees a rise in anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Spain, with increasing cases of public racism and greater acceptance of violent anti-Jewish attitudes according to a new report.

Polluting the Public Square: Anti Semitic Discourse in Spain highlights examples of purportedly anti-Semitic political cartoons in the mainstream media, anti-Israeli demonstrations, and vandalism of Jewish community centres.

The Spanish newspapers El Pais (who, quite fairly gave coverage to the report)and El Mundo came in for particular attention.

What the report justifiably suggests to me is that too many journalists and cartoonists think that Judaism is the same thing as the state of Israel, or even the Israeli government.

There are plenty of Jews inside and outside Israel who do not support the Israeli government and strongly disagree with the excess force and other discriminatory policies it has undoubtedly imposed on Palestinians. (I would argue that self-defence against terrorists across its border makes moral sense though.)

Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos, has stated that the Spanish government would investigate these allegations and report to the New York-based publishers of the report at a later date.

Friday, September 4, 2009

While unemployment grows…so do the big bank’s profits

There is now another reason for putting our money (and faith?) in smaller ‘socially-minded’ financial institutions

An editorial in the business daily Cinco Días
says experts believe that the case of the Spanish banks proves that ‘the crisis’ can open up opportunities for those who know how to take advantage of them:

“They are making the most of [this world-wide economic recession] because they're seizing opportunities at a good price.

And thanks to the acquisition of banks that were in trouble they have grown larger.”