The letter was also sent to Spanish political leaders – both representing the government coalition and the opposition in Parliament.
Paris, 26 March 2022
In a letter to Dr Meritxell Batet Lamaña, President of the Spanish Congress of Deputies (lower chamber of Parliament), the Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, expressed concern “in regard to the ‘measures to be undertaken for the protection of the Rights of Children and Adolescents of the Palestinian population affected by the occupation of Israel’, proposed by Podemos, due for discussion in your Congress Committee of Foreign Affairs on 29 March.”
Recently, our Centre sent a letter to the Foreign Minister, Mr. Albares, praising the Government for its initiative that Vladimir Putin be tried before the International Criminal Court. However, we also expressed our concern about the position of Unidas Podemos in the face of the invasion of Ukraine, asking ourselves if it was related to the closeness of Podemos with the Iranian regime and the Moscow-Tehran relationship.
“We understand that Podemos, as a member of your coalition, is reportedly close to the Ayatollah’s regime and, as such, fanatically, anti-Israel.”
The letter continued: “Thus its initiative in your Parliament includes a defamatory list of lies from six so-called Palestinian NGOs, stamped and signed by Amnesty International, that has recently denied the right of Israel to be a Jewish State. The same applies sadly to Save the Children. Arguably, much of their fundraising is based on castigating the Jewish State.”
Samuels stressed that “Podemos claims that Save the Children counts between 500 and 700 minors detained in 2020, allegedly for throwing stones. Of course, no mention is made in regard to cases of stabbing and the use of firearms.”
According to DCI Palestine (Defence for Children International), Save the Children’s primary source, 29 minors were detained between 2008 and 2020. It should not be forgotten that Israel abides by the rule of law and is recognized as the only democracy in the Middle East, occupying position 23 in The Economist’s democracy index in 2021, one position below France and one above Spain.
The letter continued, “It is also remarkable that Podemos is concerned by the situation in Gaza without making any reference to the role of Hamas – the terrorist organization in charge of Gaza, whose charter includes ‘murdering Jews (not only Israelis) wherever they are’,” adding, “In the May 2021 conflict, launched by Hamas, they used children as human shields and schoolyards as launchpads for rockets directed at Tel Aviv.”
The Centre noted that, “Podemos does not even mention the Israeli losses in that war and the years of daily bombings from Gaza over the Israeli town of Sderot causing its children certainly to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder... Would Spain accept a hypothetical daily launch of missiles at its cities from, for example, Morocco?”
“Podemos’ demand for compensation for destroyed schools – that had been financed by Spain – should be addressed to Hamas.”
Samuels asked, “Where are the Human Rights of Palestinian children whose mothers, on Palestinian television, express pride in the deaths of their sons and daughters as suicide bombers, tasked with murdering as many Jews as possible?”
The letter continued, “In contrast, the true picture is found in Israeli hospitals, where the Jewish doctor holds the new-born Arab baby, matched by his Arab-Israeli colleague taking care of a Jewish baby.”
“Madam President, the coming debate should rather conclude in requesting Podemos to demand its Iranian friends to put an end to public hangings, the stoning of women and the incarceration of minorities, foreigners or children who dare speak out freely,” concluded Samuels.