A Spanish Socialist politician who called a rival a “Jewish Nazi” has resigned from her party following a tense row.
Amparo Rubiales said she would step down as the chair of the Andalusia branch of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party after comments she made about centre right Popular Party politician Elias Bendodo Benasayag.
Rubialies, a former congresswoman for the Spanish Socialist party until 2004, reacted to an interview in which Bendodo said that “Spain is not strong enough to withstand another five years under Pedro Sánchez”.
Benasayag was born to a Sephardi Jewish family in Malaga and his parents were Moroccan-born Jews. He is now a Senator in the Spanish Parliament representing Andalusia.
Posting on Twitter last Saturday (June 3), Rubialies said: “This is really the discourse of a Nazi Jew.”
Following criticism, she wrote a later second tweet, saying: “I have nothing against Jews and everything against Nazis.”
The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, the body which represents Spanish Jews, strongly condemned the statement and branded it as antisemitic.
They said: “This is anti-Semitism as Bendodo’s Jewish origin is pointed out when no other politician is identified with his origin or religion.
“Beyond political differences, it is intolerable and despicable to use the origin, tendencies, belonging or religion of an adversary to make a political criticism.
“We also reiterate that the use of terms that have to do with Nazism to compare people or situations of the present time, supposes the trivialization of one of the most criminal regimes in History.
“For all these reasons, we urge politicians to remove from their vocabulary these terms that in no way help respect and coexistence.”
Rubiales said: “Never use someone’s religion, origin, or ethnicity for political criticism even if, as in my case, the intention is to point out a serious inconsistency.”
The Andalusia branch of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party said Rubiales’ remarks were “unacceptable” and “objectionable.”
A spokesperson for the branch told Spanish news outlet El Mundo that they represent her opinion and not that of the party.