SWC to Spain's Foreign Minister: "Stop Spanish Funds to Palestinian Youth Magazine that Glorifies Hitler"

CENTRE SIMON WIESENTHAL - EUROPE
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"Your new government is grappling with a severe financial crisis. The Spanish tax-payer deserves an accounting for 680 million euro in subsidies, part of which services a travesty."

Paris, 5 January, 2012

In a letter to the newly elected Spanish government's Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, pointed to Spain's continued funding of the Palestinian children's magazine, Zayzafuna, which glorifies Hitler.

Following the Wiesenthal Centre's 21 December 2011 exposé, UNESCO cancelled its own patronage and subsidy to this publication and demanded an enquiry into this scandal by the Palestinian Authority. www.wiesenthal.com/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=lsKWLbPJLnF&b=4441467&ct=11557123>

Samuels cited research by Palestinian Media Watch : "Since August 2011, the magazine is also sponsored by UNESCO and the MDG Achievement Fund (MDG-F), a UN humanitarian foundation funded by the Spanish government."


The letter added, "we are aware that the MDG Fund was established in 2006 with a generous contribution of 528 million euro from Spain. This was followed with a further 90 million euro in 2008, especially earmarked for projects on child nutrition and conflict prevention."

Samuels continued : "Yours is a newly elected government grappling with a severe financial crisis. Yet your predecessors have continued to fund a noxious organ providing children with a nutrition of hate and perpetuating conflict in the Middle East."

The Centre urged Spain "to follow UNESCO in condemning this publication and in demanding Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas stop forthwith his own 30,000 US dollar per annum subsidy to Zayzafuna (out of monies donated by the international community)."

"Above all", the letter called on Madrid "to definitively cancel this support and investigate the abuse of its funding by the MDG Achievement Fund, as also the role in this matter of UN agencies and NGO's represented on its Board."

"Spanish tax-payers deserve transparency regarding 618 million euro in subsidies, part of which has serviced a travesty," concluded Samuels.

For further information contact Shimon Samuels on 0033(0)609770158, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400.000 members. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament.