Sunday, January 29, 2012

Spain and Israel...25 years of diplomatic relations

At a ceremony in Madrid Spain and Israel recently marked 25 years of diplomatic relations.

Prizes were individuals and institutions that have contributed to the coming together of the two countries over the last quarter century.

Eighteen people received the Samuel Hadas Award, including former Spanish presidents Jose Maria Aznar and Felipe Gonzalez. Hadas, Israel's first ambassador to Spain, was one of the [main figures] in the process that led to the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Spain in 1986.

The ties put an end to nearly 40 years of estrangement following the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and nearly 500 years since the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492.

Read more from the source here.


Nonsmoker Walrus said...

Hi Brett, it's Miquel. I have a question for you. I recall reading an article in a (catalan) newspaper complaining that media in Spain are quite biased against Israel. Do you feel the same way from the Doorway?

Brett Hetherington said...

Hi Miquel. Nice to hear from you again. To answer your question, I don't read a truly representative sample of media here so I can'tclaim to have a fully informed opinion about bias against Israel. I know there are a few who maintain this to be true. It has certainly become fashionable for some on the left, who prefer not to think independently, to be against even the very idea of Israel existing. The Iraeli government has recently done a lot to deserve criticism but I dislike the automatic bashing of Israel, without first considering the facts first. I took a Jewish friend of mine to a local "lefty" bar here in Vilafranca last year and we were both shocked to see a psoter of an Israel flag with a big red line through it on the wall. The bar manager knew about it and defended this without an explanation. I have never been back to this bar since then.

Czarny Kot said...

I am probably anti-Israel on a tactical basis-- ie: I don't like what it does in the Occupied Territories and in Gaza-- but I most certainly believe that Israel has a right to exist.

Many who call themselves left-wingers probably do not.

As for the Spanish left, a positive thing is that youung people are not so apathetic as in most countries. On the negative side, it sometimes seemed to me that being a young Spanish left-winger simply involved wearing a Palestinian scarf, listening to Manu Chao and taking to the streets shouting 'Basta Ya!' at the drop of a hat without thinking too deeply about why they were doing so.

To be fiar, you could say the same about a certain strand of leftism in most countries.

Brett Hetherington said...

Thanks for the comment, Czarny. [It took a few weeks for me to publish it because for some strange reasons your comments were sent to the spam box. Sorry!]

What you say about the left here is spot on. I couldn't agree more. There is a lot less apathy here than in Australia where young people generally no nothing and will only get out on the streets when university fees are increased.

A [new] friend of mine is an exception. He calls himself a Marxist. He's from Terrasa and is an activist who goes out at night defacing Franco memorials and that kind of thing. He was with the well known "Franki" who was imprisoned for a year when they took down the Spanish flag at the Ajuntament. I admire that kind of direct political action, even if I don't always agree with it.