Israel’s ambassador to Spain, Raphael Shutz, posted a farewell message describing ‘hatred and anti-Semitism” he suffered during his four-year tenure.
Shutz posted on his website a message stating, “The fact of having personally experienced the hate and the anti-Semitism that exists in Spanish society is something that I take away with me."
He cited anti-Semitic reactions to Israel’s Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign against Hamas two years ago and to the IDF clash with the IHH-terror linked flotilla last year, according to the Spanish website expatica.com.
Shutz tired to balance his comments with what he called positive experiences, noting Spain’s call last month to visiting Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki to return to talks with Israel for the establishment of a new Arab state within Israel’s current borders. The PA has refused to discuss the issue if Israel does not accept pre-conditions.
During Shutz’s tenure, Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez made her first visit to Israel, marking the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
"Relations between our two countries are just beginning," Shutz said in his message. Spain and Israel established diplomatic ties in 1986, nearly 500 years after the Spanish Inquisition that expelled Jews who did not convert to Christianity. Many who converted, the conversos, were tortured and burnt at the stake for continuing to observe Judaism.
The infamous expulsion order was formally nullified in 1992 at a ceremony attended by the Spanish king and then-Israeli President Chaim Herzog.