La ‘Téchouva’ de José Maria Aznar
Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, just come up to the plate to defend with passion the State of Israel. The former President of the Partido Popular (PP), the main political education of the Spanish right, recently released a platform of fighting fiercely pro-Israel in the influential British daily The Times of London.
In 2004, during his official visit to Canada when he was Prime Minister of Spain Jose Maria Aznar has been the Spanish Embassy in Ottawa with a delegation of the Sephardic Community of Canada. In photo: Judah Castiel, President of the Institute of Culture Sephardic, calling on behalf of the delegation, a gift, a Mezuzah, Jose Maria Aznar.
"The Western world is what it is with its Judeo-Christian roots. If the Jewish element in these roots is broken, and if Israel is lost, then we are lost too. Whether we like it or not, our fates are inextricably linked to that of Israel ... The legitimacy of Israel, a state created by UN resolution, can not be questioned. Israel has strong democratic institutions. It is a dynamic and open society which constantly excels in the fields of culture, science and technology. Israel is a Western nation in the fullest sense of the word. This democratic country is, in fact, a normal Western nation, faced since its birth in unusual circumstances ... "wrote the ex-politician in the columns of the Times of London.
Jose Maria Aznar, who sees himself as "an unconditional supporter of Israel as a nation", is pioneering a movement to support the State of Israel in the west, known as "Initiative of the Friends of Israel" , which joined Western politicians leading, including John Bolton, Ambassador of the United States at the UN during the presidency of George Bush, Alejandro Toledo, Peru's former President, David Trimble, the Protestant First Minister of Northern Ireland signed in 1998 with the Catholic Good Friday Agreement and won this title the same year The Nobel peace Fiamma Nirenstein Italian Senator ...
The "pro-Israelism" obsequiously posted today by José Maria Aznar in sharp contrast to policy in the Middle East and fundamentally unfair pro-Palestinian that he has conducted during the eight consecutive years he presided over the destinies of Spain .
Spain, which was forced in 1986 by the European Union to officially recognize and establish for the first time in its history, diplomatic relations with the State of Israel, to accede to the presidency of the Union European Spaniards were to acquiesce to this request previously made very forcefully by the Parliament of Brussels, has always been one of the most virulent European detractors of Israel. Furthermore, the Spanish press is undeniably one of the most acrimonious in the place of the Jewish state.
This was emphasized recently David Hatchuel Altares, 42, vice president of the Jewish Community of Madrid, which has about 10,000 souls, in an interview he gave to the Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post - published in the edition of June 17, 2010.
"Spain is at the forefront of campaigns delegitimization and boycott of Israel. These campaigns abject raging strongly in Spain and Europe, are part of an international movement anti-Israel orchestrated by Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah to deny Israel's right to exist. Some posters calling for a boycott of the Jewish state have been recently plastered on all pay phones in Madrid. In addition, the Federation of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transexual of Spain has banned a gay Israeli delegation was to participate in the "Gay Parade" ... The Madrid Spanish Semitism is a mixture of ignorance of Judaism and anti-Israelism, fed daily by television, newspapers and the Internet in Spain. When they approach the issue of Israel, the Spanish media are very biased, "said David Hatchuel Altares The Jerusalem Post.
In the summer of 2006, while war raged in Lebanon, the Israeli Ambassador to Spain at the time, Victor Harel, we granted an interview, published in the edition of the Canadian Jewish News, September 14, 2006 . We had then asked the following question: "Throughout the war, the former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, has unconditionally supported Israel. Can we conclude Aznar is more pro-Israel that his successor, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero? "The response of Ambassador Victor Harel was categorical:" I do not share this view. We tend to idealize the past ages. It is true that the former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, manifested today a very favorable attitude to Israel. We thank him for his strong support for Israel during the Lebanon war. But we no mistake! When Jose Maria Aznar and his party, the Partido Popular (PP), were in power, this was not the honeymoon between Spain and Israel. The two countries also had profound disagreements on policy issues relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It must be remembered that Spain has always followed a certain European policy that Israel poses more of a problem. When he was in power, the policy of Jose Maria Aznar at the place of Israel was not very different from that in its current Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. "
In his autobiographical book Retratos y Perfiles. Fraga a Bush-Portraits and Profiles. Fraga to Bush, published in 2005 by Editions Planeta-this book was a big bestseller in Spain, Jose Maria Aznar brush portraits of Yitzhak Rabin and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli political leaders he has met several times during his two consecutive constituents at the head of the Spanish government, and gives his impressions of Israeli politicians.
"I always felt that in politics there are not Israeli hawks and doves. In my eyes he writes, there are only "hawks". The difference may exist between these two categories of politicians is rather the height and speed at which they fly. Shimon Peres has been and continues to be the opposite kind of Israeli politics. He participated in all the forums and meetings where could arise any discussion draft that could lead to the initiation of a dialogue or a solution to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. However, Peres and other Israeli politicians have been shaped with the same boss. All were soldiers and had a direct experience of battle ... Everyone has the mentality of survivors and resistance fighters. And this, of course, leaves a deep impression and builds character. "
It must be remembered that in regard to the Jews and the thorny issue of anti-Semitism is the Socialist government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and not that of Jose Maria Aznar was the Spanish first political to adopt, in 2004, in las Cortes, the Spanish Parliament, a legal decree formally establishing a Day of Remembrance dedicated to the six milion Jews exterminated by the Nazis during the Second World War. It was also during the term of Zapatero's Socialist government has been created Casa Sefarad-Israel, an institution fostering closer relations and cultural exchanges between the Spanish and Israeli companies, and Pluralism and Coexistence Foundation, whose primary mandate was to fund projects initiated by the three main religious minorities living in Spain, Muslims, Jews and Evangelicals.
Very many Spaniards who believe that Jose Maria Aznar is the politician as "opportunistic" in the Iberian Peninsula. Having announced that he would not carry more than two terms, he has chosen as its candidate Mariano Rajoy as his successor in elections on March 14, 2004. Despite his decision to support the invasion of Iraq, against the views of over 80% of Spaniards, Mariano Rajoy was the overwhelming favorite with a narrow lead in almost all polls and the media, until this fateful day of March 11, 2004, when ten bombs exploded in railway stations in Madrid, killing 192 Spaniards and wounded 1,800. The hasty and peremptory appointment of the Basque terrorist group ETA-by Aznar and the PP as responsible for these highly lethal attacks was seen by the Spanish public opinion as an attempt to manipulate. In addition, we will then Aznar has personally telephoned the directors of major Spanish newspapers to ensure that they are lagging well ETA in one of their newspapers. In three days, the trend reversed and the polls of Socialist P.SO.E. Zapatero won this election hands down. This sinister political blunder has greatly tarnished reputation and credibility of Jose Maria Aznar.
The current popularity of Jose Maria Aznar for the State of Israel is breathtaking informed observers of the Spanish political scene. But the friends of Israel can only rejoice at this "Teshuvah" of former Prime Minister of Spain. After all, as the saying puts it: "Better late than never ..."!