He makes an excellent point, the vast majority of Spaniards (outside of the tourist industry) have never really met any Jews.
by Jonathan S. Tobin
Spain has recently attempted to woo back the descendants of Jews who were expelled from the country in 1492. The offer of citizenship to those Sephardi Jews who can’t trace their ancestry back to the exile from the Iberian peninsula is primarily motivated by a desire to attract both capital and tourism to a country that is in dire economic straits. But if any Jews are tempted to take Madrid up on its offer, and apparently some may be, they should take into consideration the fact that Spain ranked third in the list of most anti-Semitic countries in Europe in the survey of international opinion published last week by the Anti-Defamation League.
Anyone who doubted the accuracy or the methods employed by the ADL in compiling its poll, especially with regard to Spain, ought to have second thoughts today. [........]But the rash of anti-Semitic statements, especially on Twitter, in reaction to the victory of the Israeli squad shouldn’t be dismissed as only the sour reaction of supporters of a losing sports team. That the outcome of a basketball game would lead so many to resort to anti-Semitic language is not an accident or people just blowing off steam. The willingness to invoke traditional stereotypes of Jew-hatred as well as echoes of the Holocaust under these circumstances illustrates not only how deeply entrenched such attitudes are in European culture but the way Israel has become a stand-in for traditional anti-Semitism.
The fact that so many Spaniards adopt anti-Semitic attitudes is remarkable not only because of their nation’s desire to attract Jews and to honor the lost heritage of the Jewish communities that were destroyed by the expulsion and the Inquisition. It must be understood that most Spaniards have had little or no contact with Jews. Yet many Spaniards seem to have retained the remnants of the vicious anti-Semitic attitudes that led to the expulsion even all these centuries later. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s late father wrote in his definitive history of the Inquisition, the persecution of the many Jews who converted and remained in Spain after 1492 was not so much a function of religious prejudice as it was a form of racism that would lay the foundation for future European horrors.
Just as important, this latest outbreak is a reminder that for many Europeans, expressing prejudice against Israel, even in the crudest manner possible that invokes memories of the Holocaust, has become legitimized by the campaign of demonization of the Jewish state that has been conducted by intellectuals and other elites. [......]
While I doubt that efforts by Spanish Jews to sue those who insulted them and Israel on Twitter will do much good, they deserve credit for not taking this hate lying down. [......] Anti-Semitism, including its anti-Zionist variety, is not really about anything the Jews do but the function of the sick minds of the anti-Semites. But in Europe today, it is becoming all too typical for any event involving Israel, be it good or bad, to serve as an excuse for hate.
Read the rest - Spain, Basketball, and Jew hatred
I read where Adolf Eichmann’s son is a hardcore Nazi.
by Lazar Berman
Rudolf Hoess oversaw the deaths of almost 1 million Jews as the commandant of the Auschwitz extermination camp.
He likely never would have imagined that someday his grandson would be in the Jewish state, enjoying the Tel Aviv waterfront.
But Rainer Hoess, 48, is in Israel, and seems to be enjoying his trip.
Hoess, who discovered his family history when he was 12 years old, has dedicated himself to fighting the rise of neo-Nazi movements in Europe and last week launched an informational campaign ahead of the EU elections, which kick off Thursday.
“Right-wing extremists are not stupid,” he said. “They are growing, gaining ground, very slowly but very effectively.
“I’m very aggressive against them,” added Hoess, who has turned down multiple offers to participate in neo-Nazi events.
Entitled “Never Forget. To Vote,” the campaign launched by the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League (SSU) ahead of the May 22-25 vote sees the ballot box as the best defense against resurgent far-right extremism.
“To have Rainer at the front of this initiative is a way to show that he can never forget and we should never either,” SSU head Gabriel Wikstroem said.
Despite the disapproval of other family members, who preferred to bury their past, he has spent more than 20 years researching his background and the Nazi movement.
Hoess, who wears a Star of David around his neck, devoted the last four years to educating schoolchildren about the dangers of right-wing extremism.
What began when his children’s teachers asked him to share his story with pupils at their school has now become a full-time job that saw him visit more than 70 schools in Germany last year alone.
His aunt Brigitte, one of Rudolf Hoess’s five children, chose the opposite path.
Only last year, at the age of 80 and dying of cancer, she chose to share her story with The Washington Post, on condition that her married name and any details hinting at her identity be kept hidden.
Through his own research, Hoess has met many Holocaust survivors, even traveling to Israel to take part in a documentary — a delicate undertaking, he admits.
“It was a little bit tricky, as the grandchild of a mass murderer, to go to Israel.”
Rainer Hoess was a central figure in the 2011 documentary “Hitler’s Children,” which examines how descendants of key Nazi figures cope with the burden of their families’ actions.
One million Jews were killed at Auschwitz from 1940 to 1945 along with more than 100,000 non-Jewish Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war, homosexuals and anti-Nazi partisans before the camp was liberated on January 27, 1945.
Rudolf Hoess experimented with different methods of mass killing, eventually settling on the use of the pesticide Zyklon B to gas his victims.