Thursday, November 25, 2004

Pilar Rahola on Spain, the Left and Israel

This is an article I have pointed to earlier. But it is still so pertinent to the attitude of Spain (and the EU in general) towards Israel (especially as Javier Solana handles just about everything for the EU concerning Israel) that I point to it again.
Fundamentally, this book is addressed to the anti-Jewish school of thought in Spain. The goal of our book is to launch a debate about Judeophobia in Spain. We are convinced that the current view of the conflict, so Manichaean—with the good, always the Palestinians, and the evil, always the Israelis—has deep roots. It comes from an ancient anti-Jewish feeling that exists in Spain and that also explains the history of Spain. This feeling softened slightly after the Franco era [translator's note : post-1975], but today there is a virulent resurgence of this savage feeling to the point where one can find genuinely anti-Semitic expressions in the Spanish press. In essence, this is a provocative book in the face of totally pro-Arab thinking in Spain, that is completely uncritical of the mistakes of the Arab world in general and of the Palestinians in particular.
Another good quote:
Those on the Left in Spain have a real problem. In some respects we are the heirs of the French Revolution ; we have been influenced by the great ideologues like [Jean-Paul] Sartre and [Albert] Camus, and also by May 1968. That is to say, the overall thinking of the Spanish Left comes from France. Now, France is fundamentally anti-American…from which (comes) our anti-Americanism, that at times borders on the pathological, an anti-Americanism which is also anti-Semitic. This explains why to a certain extent the Spanish Left is anti-Semitic. Obviously, people like myself have great difficulty with this state of affairs.

I believe that if the Left has failed as a great world ideology, it is because the Left did not succeed in breaking with the worst of its dogmatic thinking. The Left can be very progressive, but it can also be very dogmatic. Unfortunately, the Left became infatuated with such infamous dictators as Pol Pot, Mao, and Stalin, and now it is in love with Arafat. The Left should be critical, and in the first place, self-critical.
Very much worth reading. Get the book too, if you get a chance.


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