Israel yesterday lodged a formal complaint with Spain, charging that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are being instilled in elementary students across parts of the country.
The Israeli embassy in Madrid has received dozens of postcards addressed to the Israeli envoy – from students ages 5 and 6 – including hand-written messages such as “Jews kill for money,” “Evacuate the country for Palestinians,” and “Go to someplace where someone will be willing to accept you.”
According to sources in the Foreign Ministry, this is an organized campaign by officials outside the education system in Spain that have been given permission to work with the students.
The Foreign Ministry had originally planned to summon the Spanish envoy to Israel, Alvaro Iranzo, to rebuke him.
However, in an effort to prevent a diplomatic crisis, the ministry decided instead to discuss the matter with him via telephone.
Naor Gilon, the Foreign Ministry’s deputy director for Western Europe, spoke with Iranzo on Sunday and said, “Israel feels strong discontent over the postcards sent by school students and views the matter with utmost gravity.”
The Spanish envoy explained that the postcards were a private initiative, and not one that is part of Spain’s education ministry.
Gilon said Israel understands this is not a government policy, but stressed that these types of initiatives have no place in schools and that Israel requests action be taken to have the campaign stopped.