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“Madrid election won by centre-right... Wiesenthal Centre urges Madrid Assembly to inspire national government to boycott Durban anniversary as an exercise of hate camouflaged as human rights.”

Paris, 5 May 2021

In March 2021, the Wiesenthal Centre addressed democratic member-states of the United Nations Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC), urging them to boycott the planned 20th anniversary of the “UN World Conference Against Racism” – now known as Durban IV – at UN New York Headquarters in September.

“Held in South Africa, the first edition of this event had turned into an antisemitic pogrom,” claimed the Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels.

“Two centre-right Partido Popular members of the Spanish Cortes (Parliament) had received our appeal and made an official question to the Government. The reply revealed that Spain was leading a campaign in the European Union and across Latin America in favour of this, the 4th Durban meeting. Durban II and III were opened by then Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with a Jew-hatred outpour.”

Samuels discovered that, "the extreme-left party, Podemos, has been active in a post-Durban vector called the World Social Forum. The party’s leader, Pablo Iglesias, has, reportedly, close ties with Tehran. As a member of Spain’s government coalition, Podemos’ anti-Israel and antisemitic positions, apparently, acted in favour of support for Durban IV.” ...“This revelation went viral in Spanish media. On social media, I was called ‘The Nazi Samuels’ and charged with ‘intervention in Spanish politics,’ particularly this week’s Madrid regional elections.”

Iglesias had left his position as Spanish Deputy Prime Minister to stand for the important Madrid ballot. In view of the result, he has announced his retirement from politics.

The centre-right Partido Popular (PP) leader, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, was returned in a landslide re-election.

Samuels stressed, “We wish her every success...”

“La Vanguardia well-known columnist, Pilar Rahola, came out in my defence in support of Spain’s acceptance of the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) Definition of Antisemitism... We now call on Madam Ayuso to see that the definition is clearly applied in the Madrid region and, in that spirit, to inspire the national government to boycott Durban IV as a specious exercise of hate camouflaged as human rights,” concluded Samuels.

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“For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.” (Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005)