Spanish leftists rally around Israel

Friday, June 22, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

A group of Spanish left-wing political activists have launched a new movement to counter anti-Israel bias in their country's media and liberal social circles.

Calling themselves the Association for the Solidarity of Israel-Spain (ASEI), the group is made up of both Jews and non-Jews who, according to their recently published manifesto, aim to “defend the values of democracy and pluralism which the State of Israel represents.”

The ASEI document explains that “there has been a heavy silence in the Spanish left regarding the defense of the State of Israel, whose democratic, political, social, economic, cultural and religious values are perfectly comparable to any Western democratic state.”

The text goes on to assert that a great many on the Spanish left feel “sadness” over the “repeated political, intellectual and journalistic attacks against Israel.”

Reading from the manifesto at a ceremony in Madrid earlier this week, ASEI leaders declared that the time had arrived to “proclaim and defend” their conviction that Israel stands as an important bastion of humanity “in a world that is threatened by intolerance and fundamentalism.”

The document has reportedly been signed by hundreds of leading Spanish citizens, including lawmakers and former government ministers.

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