Israeli diplomat laments hatred and anti-Semitism still present in Spain

Raphael Schutz, Israel's outgoing ambassador to Spain, has lamented the "hatred and anti-Semitism" he experienced during his four years in the country. In a message posted on the Israeli Embassy website, Schutz said his four years in Madrid had included some difficult moments. He said: “The fact of having personally experienced the hate and the anti-Semitism that exists in Spanish society is something that I take away with me."

However, he stressed that he had also had many positive experiences. "Relations between our two countries are just beginning," Schutz declared. Diplomatic relations between Spain and Israel were first established in January 1986. The 1492 edict of expulsion of the Jews by the Catholic kings of Spain was formally nullified 500 years later at a ceremony in March 1992 which was attended by Spanish King Juan Carlos and then Israeli President Chaim Herzog.

Schutz ended his message optimistically, writing that relations between Israel and Spain were just starting to flourish, and concluding: "See you soon in Spain." Schutz will be replaced by Alon Bar, currently in charge of cultural relations at Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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