Regional lawmaker in Spain calls Barcelona Jewish community head 'a foreign agent'

25 May 2016 Facebook Created with Sketch. Twitter Created with Sketch. Email Print
Regional lawmaker in Spain calls Barcelona Jewish community head 'a foreign agent'

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.


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