:: UPDATE:: Wiesenthal Centre's Letter of Protest to Spanish Prime Minister Results in Removal of ABC.es Blood Libel Article

Tel. +33-147237637 - Fax: +33-147208401
E-mail: csweurope@gmail.com

The Wiesenthal Centre's recent letter to the Spanish Prime Minister (see press release below) has resulted in the removal of ABC.es's blood libel article, including the entire nine chapters in the series entitled, "Death on the Cross – Beyond Jesus" ('La Muerte en la Cruz').

"Due to the gravity of its content, removal is not sufficient and the Wiesenthal Centre expects a public apology in the newspaper and online edition for this offence to the Jewish people. Additionally, the Wiesenthal Centre requests ABC's commitment to ensure that no further anti-Semitic expression appears in its columns," said Dr. Shimon Samuels, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Affairs. 


Tel. +33-147237637 - Fax: +33-147208401

E-mail: csweurope@gmail.com


Wiesenthal Centre to Spanish Prime Minister: Condemn Mass Circulation ABC Blood Libel


"Serving as a Platform for Group Defamation Carries a Grave Responsibility for its Potential Consequences."


Paris, 24 April 2014


In a letter to Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy Brey, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director, Dr. Shimon Samuels, protested an Easter article in the online edition of ABC, "Death on the Cross – Beyond Jesus" ('La Muerte en la Cruz') as "a patent incitement to anti-Semitism replete with the language and tradition of the Nazi Stürmer newspaper."


Samuels argued, "ABC - Spain's third largest daily, with a circulation of over a quarter of a million and many times that figure through its online edition - chose to serve as a platform for Jew hatred cannot be excused as freedom of expression," adding, "eighth in a series of nine chapters under the title of 'Little Domingo de Val, the Child' ('Dominguito de Val, el niño'), the author, whose anonymity is protected behind the initials I.V., does not restrain his blood libel":


'Dominguito de Val, a legendary medieval saint of Zaragoza, was born in 1243, during the reign of Jaime the Conqueror. He was crucified, according to a confused legend that has been denied by many scholars and historians, at the early age of seven'.


'According to the legend, Dominguito was a victim of hatred by Jews, who at that time were many and powerful in Zaragoza in the capital of Aragon and kept, as wrote Alfonso X the Wise, the tradition of crucifying children on Good Friday to collect their blood. They have given into history the names of some of these child victims, such as Simon Livolés (the Child Guard), Richard of Norwich'.


'On Wednesday August 31, 1250, Dominguito of Val was passing through the narrow streets of the Jewish quarter of Zaragoza, when suddenly Moses Albayucet,  a Jewish usurer according to the old stories, pounced on him,and kidnapped him to the home of one of the leading Rabbis of the city. There they told him, ‘Dear child, we do not wish to harm you, but if you wish to leave here, you must step on this Christ.’ ‘Never. He is my God. No, no a thousand times no', firmly replied Dominguito. ‘Let’s finish quickly,’ urged the Jews while approaching a ladder, a hammer and some nails to crucify the child in addition to placing a crown of thorns on his blond head, to make even greater his likeness to Jesus. Once he was dead, they cut his veins to collect the blood, and cut his hands and head, which were thrown into the river Ebro.'”


See http://www.abc.es/sociedad/20140418/abci-jesus-crucificados-semana-santa-201403261701_8.html


The letter recounted, "The blood libel appeared in the early Middle Ages, charging Jews as kidnappers of Christian children – or Muslim in the case of Islamic countries – to use their blood in baking Passover unleavened bread, a festival frequently coinciding with the charge of decide at Easter.

The young victims have often been venerated as saints and became icons for martyrdom cults".


Samuels suggested, "ABC has joined a sordid and dangerous tradition. Its time-line in the modern era includes:

- the 1840 Damascus blood libel resulting in the murder of the city's Jewish leadership

- the 1903 Kishinev newspaper's inspired massacre leading to large-scale emigration

- the 1910 Shiraz Iran, accusation led to pillaging of the Jewish quarter

- the 1913 Kiev, Mendel Bailis trial trumped up by Tsarist officials as a distraction from conditions that led to the Russian revolution

- the Nazi German Stürmer newspaper’s use of the blood libel which contributed to the demonization of Jews as a prelude to the Holocaust

- Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlas' “Matza of Zion” replay of the 1840 case listed above. Its pernicious intent was exposed by the Wiesenthal Centre in 1987

- no the 2014 regurgitation of Jewish ritual murder by ABC, Madrid, Spain".


The letter advised the Prime Minister that, "serving as a tribune for blood libel – which today can be considered as group defamation, - carries a grave responsibility for the potential consequences, the narrow step from hate-speech to physical threats and violence. ABC today bears that heavy responsibility".


Samuels emphasized, "Not only has ABC endangered a community with which your government is endeavouring to make amends for the Inquisition and the Expulsion. ABC has also served to violate Spanish obligations to anti-discrimination and anti-racism provisions as a member of the Council of Europe, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)."


Our Centre urged Prime Minister Rajoy Brey to “publicly condemn ABC’s exercise in anti-Semitism and to take measures to contain further such incitement."


"Silence in the face of this provocation could be construed at best as indifference," concluded Samuels.


For further information please contact Dr. Shimon Samuels on 00(33)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 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).