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

A Jewish group in Barcelona threaten legal action against Benet Salellas for comments made during a debate in Catalonia’s Parliament

On 12th May Benet Salellas accused Uriel Benguigui, president of the Jewish Community of Barcelona, of being a “foreign agent” and part of the “Zionist lobby”. Salellas, a member of Popular Unity Candidacy party, objected to Benguigui’s attendance of a meeting of the parliament’s foreign relations committee. In response the Jewish group the FCJE stated that Salellas espoused, “the most repugnant form of anti-Semitism” and used speech that “is wholly illegitimate in diplomatic discourse”. The FCJE may charge Salellas with hate speech as he repeated “the most revolting anti-Semitic clichés that circulated in Europe during its dark days” and “tarnished the parliament’s image”.

The fact that antisemitic statements can be made about a Jewish community leader at such a high level in a European political institution shows the scale of the rise of antisemitism in Europe.


By Charlie Woods

Student at KCL reading History. Campaigned against antisemitism in Oxford University and University of London campuses.