The Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain is considering taking legal action against a Catalan lawmaker for calling Barcelona’s Jewish community leader “a foreign agent" and part of a "Zionist lobby."
In a statement, the FCJE said that Benet Salellas had espoused "the most repugnant form of anti-Semitism” and used speech that "is wholly illegitimate in diplomatic discourse." He had repeated "the most revolting anti-Semitic clichés that circulated in Europe during its dark days" and "tarnished the parliament’s image."
Unless he made a immediate public apology, the Jewish umbrella body said it will press charges against him for hate speech. It was "intolerable in a democracy that a representative of the public should make statements of this kind against the head of a Jewish community," the FCJE said.
During a debate in Catalonia’s legislature two weeks ago, Salellas accused Uriel Benguigui, the head of the Jewish community of Barcelona, of being a "foreign agent”, an "executioner", and part of a "Zionist lobby."
CUP also posted a video of Salellas’ remarks in the committee on Twitter, under the headline "Benet Salellas rebuts pressures from Zionist lobby against Catalonia’s Parliament."
Salellas is a lawyer and represents the city of Girona for the left-leaning CUP movement that advocates in favor of Catalonia’s independence. He apparently objected to Benguigui’s presence at the meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs Committee.