Spanish party dismisses Holocaust remembrance as ‘Israeli propaganda’

JTA – March 22, 2013

Spanish Jews accused politicians in Galicia of blocking a resolution for commemorating the Holocaust because they oppose Israel.

The speakers of the leftist AGE party and the nationalist BNG party in the parliament of Galicia — an autonomous region in northern Spain — vetoed a draft resolution commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, preventing it from going to a vote, according to the Federation of Jewish Communities (FCJE) in Spain.

“Similar resolutions had passed since 2010, but this time representatives of AGE refused to OK the draft resolution in the Council of Spokespersons ahead of a plenum vote,” Pedro Gomez-Valades, president of the Galician Association for Friendship with Israel, told JTA. His association has issued a joint statement with FCJE, which is the umbrella group representing Spanish Jewish communities, in condemning the veto.

Before they reach the plenum, draft resolutions must be approved by the Galician parliament’s Council of Speakers. But representatives of BNG and AGE to the Council have resisted approving a draft resolution on the Holocaust since January, according to Pedro Gomez-Valades, president of the Galician Association for Friendship. The press departments of AGE and BNG did not respond to JTA’s request for comment.

Gomez-Valades told JTA he decided to make the matter public because weeks of talks have failed to change the positions of the representatives of the two parties. During these talks, party officials said they viewed Holocaust commemoration as part of Israeli propaganda, Gomez-Valades said. His organization and the FCJE umbrella group condemned the two parties in a joint statement earlier this month.

Resolutions commemorating the victims of the Holocaust were passed in the Galician parliament in 2010, 2011 and 2012 in time for International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27. This year, there was no such resolution.

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