Spanish Jews outraged at acquittal of neo-Nazis by High Court

The Jewish Community Federation of Spain (FCJE) has strongly criticized the decision by the High Court to quash a lower court’s decision which had found four persons linked to the now-defunct Kalki bookshop in Barcelona (see former shop window on the right) guilty of incitement to hatred and anti-Semitism. The four were convicted in 2009 by a Barcelona court and sentenced to prison terms of up to three-and-a-half years. The High Court in Madrid now ruled that the men could be found guilty only if they had incited people to commit Nazi-type crimes. It said the Spainish Constitution did not prohibit ideologies, no matter how repulsive they might be.

“We Jews are very worried that the Spanish judiciary, which in certain situations shows a lot of sensitivity, does not consider the sale of books in which the Holocaust is denied and racism propagated an offense banned by our laws,” the umbrella body of Spanish Jewry said in a statement. CJE voiced its support for proposals to amend and clarify laws in order to prohibit any activities that incite to hatred based on religious, ethnic and related criteria - including the public denial of the Holocaust - as is required by a European Union directive which Spain has yet to implement.

Israel also strongly attacked the High Court ruling. Its Embassy in Madrid said in a statement: “Israel believes that this decision gives support to racist violence and shows a lack of historic knowledge.” It added that the ruling was reason for “sadness and concern.”

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