Spain

On this day: the Madrid train bombings

By Jennifer Lipman, March 11, 2011

Exactly two years and six months after terrorists struck the World Trade centre, a similarly-inspired group bombed ten sites in Madrid, including the busy interchange at Atocha station.

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Fear is still a Spanish acquisition

March 10, 2011

A major report on antisemitism about to be published in Spain makes for alarming reading.

The Observatory on Antisemitism in Spain will reveal that, according to a government-organised survey, almost 60 per cent of Spaniards believe "the Jewish people are powerful because they control the economy and the mass-media".

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Real Madrid's new signing? Shimon Peres

By Jennifer Lipman, February 24, 2011

The Israeli President lent his football expertise to the Real Madrid team after joining the Spanish side for a practice session.

Shimon Peres, who is in Spain for a four day visit, met team-members including Ronaldo, Kaka and Pepe, as well as being presented with a personalised Real Madrid shirt and a silver replica of the Bernabéu stadium.

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Spanish warrant for suspected Nazi Demjanjuk

By Jennifer Lipman, January 14, 2011

Spain has issued an arrest warrant for a man currently on trial in Germany for alleged Nazi war crimes.

John Demjanjuk is on trial in Munich over his suspected role in the deaths of more than 28,000 people at Sobibor concentration camp.

That trial began in November 2009, after the United States agreed to deport him. But the proceedings have been delayed because of questions over the health of Demjanjuk, now aged 90.

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Chabad man in cocaine arrest, insists innocence

By Jennifer Lipman, December 7, 2010

A Chabad representative has been arrested in Spain after police found four kilograms of cocaine in his suitcase.

Eliyahu Hecht, who is based in Safed, was detained by police during a stopover on his flight from Costa Rica back home to Israel.

A friend said Mr Hecht had not known the drugs were in his possession and had been the victim of a smuggling scam. He said that before boarding the flight a woman asked Mr Hecht to deliver a suitcase to a woman in Madrid, but he refused.

Chabad activists have launched a campaign to raise money to defend Mr Hecht in the case.

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Jewish fairytale in shadow of Disney castle

By Rika Zimmerman, August 12, 2010

When writer Odeia Band went to Spain to research a book, she could never have imagined she was about to uncover a piece of remarkable personal - and Jewish - history.

Mrs Band is a descendant of Abraham Senior, a 15th-century treasurer to the Spanish Royal Family who helped to arrange the marriage of Princess Isabella.

When Isabella and her husband, Ferdinand, expelled Jews from Spain in 1492, Abraham Senior reportedly converted in order to stay.

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International Israel support initiative launched

By Leon Symons, July 22, 2010

An unprecedented show of support for Israel has come from a group of almost entirely non-Jewish European and American politicians, statesmen and women and theologians.

Led by former Spanish prime minister José Maria Aznar, they have formed the Friends of Israel Initiative, to oppose the rising tide of criticism and delegitimisation that has questioned Israel's right to exist and act in self-defence.

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Franco made secret list of Jews for Nazis

By Jennifer Lipman, June 21, 2010

Spain’s record of protecting its Jewish citizens during the Holocaust has come under scrutiny.

New records, published in Spanish newspaper El País, show the fascist General Franco had plans to send 6,000 Jews into the hands of Hitler.

The wartime Spanish leader, long claimed to have been sympathetic to Jews during the Holocaust, in fact helped compile a list of Spanish Jews for the Nazi regime.

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Spain bans Israeli group from gay parade

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

Israel has been asked not to attend a Gay Pride event in Madrid because of the clashes on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

Organisers of Europe’s largest gay parade have withdrawn the offer for the Tel Aviv municipality to host a float at the event in July.

A Tel Aviv themed party featuring Israeli performers and DJs had been planned for the event in the Spanish capital, along with an appearance by a bus bearing the slogan "TLV Love Embassy".

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Israelis injured by pro-Palestinian activists

By Jennifer Lipman, June 8, 2010

A group of Israeli businessmen have been attacked and one man wounded in Madrid by pro-Palestinian protesters.

Spanish police have launched an investigation after a mob of about 200 students threw stones and paint at the businessmen. They were in the Spanish capital for a Spain-Israel Chamber of Commerce conference.

The protesters damaged a police car and shouted that the men were murderers who should “get out of Gaza” and "Freedom to the Palestinian people”.

The conference was cancelled after one Israeli suffered light injuries, when he was hit by a rock.

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