Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Open Letter to Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain

Not long ago, in support of the Palestinian cause in the Middle East, Prime Minister Zapatero appeared in public wearing a kafieh.  Furthermore, Spain has been at the forefront of critics of Israel and the "immorality" of the treatment of Palestinians. This inspired Ieoshua Levi from Israel to post the following open letter to the Spanish Prime Minister.  The letter was written in Spanish, and I took the liberty to translate it for publication in http://www.portalofideas.com/.  I took some liberties in translating, since the irony of the author is difficult to convey in English.  All credit for the letter belongs to Mr. Levi.  All mistakes or omissions are mine. 

Open Letter to Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain

In 1492 the Jews were expelled form Spain.  This was one of the "just and moral" decisions of the Spanish people towards the Jews, who had to flee leaving behind all their belongings and material goods.  The Jews were not only expelled, humiliated, and attacked; they were also robbed by the Spanish people.  Who knows what Spanish person resides in the house of my ancestors, or has the belongings of those ancestors.

...yet, we don't hate the Spanish people.

Let us remember that in the same period Spain also created an institution dedicated to "truth and morality."  This institution that remains in the memory of mankind for their promotion of "tolerance and freedom of religion" is none other than the Inquisition.  Those paladins of justice and morality imprisoned, tortured and killed thousands.  Us, the Jews, they burned at the stake just for being Jews.

...and even though my people, the Jewish people, never created such dignified institutions, despite the hatred, abuse, torture and assassinations we don't hate the Spanish people.  Despite the silenced screams of our murdered ancestors; we don't judge Spain's moral fiber.

Spain continued with the belief that they had not finished their spreading of human values.  Spain was so noble and ethical that they had to spread their influence around the world.  So they came to America.  Not only they arrived there, but they "discovered" it.  Nobody, including the natives of America were aware of their own existence.  And in order to control the discovery and to spread the gallant Spanish morality, so noble and proud, they assassinated hundreds of thousand, in one of the largest genocides in history.  They stole tons of silver and gold that they had "discovered."  Not to mention the destruction of the native cultures.

...yet we, the children of the Hebrews, we don't judge the morality of the Spanish people nor investigate the sources of its richness.  We don't hate the Spanish people.

Perhaps this historical review is looking too far into the past.  So far, that some might say, we shouldn't take it into consideration..  Well, I am a a son of the Hebrew people, and I have 5,700 years of memories.  Inclusive, I remember current history.  For example, the period of Franco where the Spanish morality found a friend in Nazi Germany.  The consequence of so much "justice and morality" does not require the memories of 5,700 years.  Six million Jews perished in this period that wearers of kafiahs, and you too Mr. Zapatero, seem to attempt to deny.

And so, the State of Israel was born in 1948.  After centuries without a homeland, persecuted and enclosed in ghettos, we created an independent state.  Spain, so full of morality, so just and against racism, decided not to recognize the new state.  After being so nice to the Jewish people, it took decades for the just and moral Spanish nation to recognize the new state.

...despite all this, we don't hate the Spanish people.  We ask for nothing.

And when our neighbors attacked and murdered us, we didn't ask Spain to opine or defend us.  And they didn't defend us, but opine they did.  When our roads were mined, and our buses were burned, when our towns were bombed, when we were forced to wage war, Spain gave us opinions based on its history so full of "pacifism and humanism."

When suicide bombers blew themselves up in our restaurants and commercial centers, killing men, women, children, the elderly and the young, Spanish morality was nowhere to be found.  But when we reacted, the Spanish mass media, so objective, so well balanced, so full of morality and justice, so intelligent; did opine.  But as usual, as is the Spanish historical tradition, the reaction was to oppose the Jews.  And it isn't because of racism, or the Inquisition, or tradition or morality.  The reaction was because we the Jews bother them.  And I never understood why. 

...despite all this we felt sorry and identified with the Spanish people when they suffered terrorist attacks.  We felt close to the victims, their families and their suffering.  And we didn't hate the Spanish people.

And when thousands of missiles fall on the towns and cities of Israel, and we have dead and wounded, and when our soldiers are kidnapped, and our synagogues are attacked, and our cemeteries destroyed, and while Satanic theories are impugned on us attempting to dehumanize the Jews, we, Jews, shouldn't respond.  We have to put the other cheek.  We have to allow ourselves to be murdered, just like in the historical period that Mr. Zapatero remembers from the perspective of a Spain that wasn't involved.  This gives him the moral high ground to criticize us.

Put on  a kafiah, Mr. Zapatero, but never a kipah.  Our dead don't count; just like in the fires of the Inquisition. 

Put on Kafiah, while you allow Moroccan Muslims to drown on the Mediterranean when they attempt to reach to Spain.  Mr. Zapatero, they are Muslims and they use a Kafiah.  Don't you identify with their suffering?

Keep on the kafiah.  While you remember the Spanish trains, keep the kafiah on.  It look good on you.  Wear it while you talk to us about morality, truth, justice and humanism.  Don't forget anything.  We won't.  We remember the expulsion from Spain, the Inquisition, the persecution, the behavior of Spain in the "New World."  We won't forget the murders, and the thievery and we will never forget the Spanish "opposition" to Nazism.  We will remember how Spain never spoke of morality while we were being attacked and assassinated.

Keep the kafiaah on, Mr. Zapatero, and keep lecturing on morality, justice and humanism.  Spain has really a lot to lecture about.

Talk, Mr. Zapatero, while we are being butchered.  You are a noble son to the Spanish historical tradition.  The kafiah looks good on you, and it allows you to ally yourself to Islamic fundamentalism, so full of love and so many universal values of freedom, freedom of thought and opinion and divine justice and morality.

And while we talk about morality to us.

...remember, despite everything, we don't hate the Spanish people.  We respect them, read their books, listen to their music, we talk to them, visit them and approach them.  We don't hate Spaniards, or Germans or Arabs.  We only want to live in peace.  But those who placed on you the kafiah, those from Septemeber 11, the Madrid and London bombings, those who teach hatred and lies and barbarism wont let us.

Ieoshua Levi


1 comment:


good for you! spain is hooked up with Hamas and boycotts stores in Israel!