Tuesday, November 28 2023
His Excellency Mr. Alfredo Martínez Serrano
Ambassador of Spain to Canada
74 Stanley Avenue, Ottawa (Ontario) K1M 1P4
Excellency, Mr. Ambassador,
During his visit on Friday, November 24, to the Rafah crossing connecting Gaza to Egypt, the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, together with the Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander De Croo, declared that the “indiscriminate killing of civilians” in the Palestinian territory was “completely unacceptable.”
Such a statement was not just a diplomatic gaffe but a deliberate insult to the Israeli people and Jewish people worldwide. With flagrant bias, the Prime Minister of Spain failed to mention at all the trauma caused to the Israeli population by the massacre carried out by Hamas terrorists assisted by hordes of ordinary Gazan civilians. A massacre the cruelty and barbarity of which perpetrated by the aggressors surpassed imagination – 1,400 innocent men, women, elderly, and children were cowardly murdered; among them, a baby of a few months burned alive in an oven. Women were raped and then dismembered, and to add to the savagery, more than 240 innocent hostages were kidnapped and taken into Gaza to serve as bargaining chips for Palestinian terrorists imprisoned in Israel.
Jewish communities across the world are appalled and equally outraged by the declaration of Mr. Pedro Sanchez, who has demonstrated through his words poor judgement as well as a lack of compassion and empathy for the innocent victims of the October 7 massacre.
To refute of the unwarranted reactions of certain countries, including some members of the European Union, who have not missed an opportunity to condemn Israel’s response day after day, it should be pointed out that, unlike the genocidal murderers of Hamas, the Israel Defence Forces has a code of Purity of arms. This code governs all its actions against the enemy, particularly when civilians are involved, as was the case in Gaza, where civilians were repeatedly asked to evacuate the combat zones.
As President of the Canadian Sephardi Federation, a community whose ties with Spain have been firmly maintained through the Spanish language that we have preserved for centuries and through a cultural heritage that has endured for more than 500 years after our expulsion from Spain, I am sad to tell you today that Sephardi communities throughout the world and particularly in Canada are indignant and distressed by the statements of the Prime Minister of Spain.
The Jewish people pride themselves on being the people of remembrance. We continue to remember and celebrate the just decision of the Spanish government in 1986 to recognize the State of Israel and the warm speech of His Majesty Juan Carlos to the Sephardi Jews during the commemoration in 1992 of the 500th anniversary of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. Nor do we forget the historic visit to Spain, the first in 25 years, by the President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, accompanied by his wife, and the wonderful warm welcome given to them by His Majesty Felipe II and Her Royal Highness Queen Letizia.
The unbreakable bonds that unite Spain and the Sephardim worldwide must remain solid and be subject to mutual trust and open and sincere dialogue. The Prime Minister’s statements and those of other European leaders have strayed from the path of impartiality when, in fact, if they had been different, the diplomatic crisis we are experiencing in a climate charged with virulent anti-Semitism worldwide would have been avoided.
I thank you in advance for your interest in my letter.
President – Canadian Sephardi Federation
Member of the World Sephardi Federation