July 8, 2024 MEMRI Daily Brief No. 617

The Antisemitism Of The Sánchez Government Does Not Reflect The Reality Of Spain

July 8, 2024 | By Dr. Daniel Lacalle*
MEMRI Daily Brief No. 617

Spain is not an antisemitic country, but our government has embraced the most radical antisemitic positions as a political strategy. Taking a stand in favor of Hamas' demands is not defending the Palestinians – it is defending their submission to a terrorist group. Taking a stand in favor of Hamas is also taking a stand against the Arabs in the region who want peace and freedom. It is shameful that the government of Spain uses the term "genocide" to talk about the legitimate defense of Israel against the attacks of a terrorist group that demands the annihilation of the state of Israel. That is the meaning of the phrase "from the river to the sea," which is repeated with childish ignorance by some young Spaniards.

Dr. Daniel Lacalle

The First Genocide, In Which The Population Is Increasing

Genocide? It must be the most incompetent genocide in history. In 1948, 156,000 Arabs lived in Israel.[1] At the end of 2020, the number of Arab citizens of Israel was 1,595,300, constituting some 17.2% of the total population.[2] Furthermore, in 2022, the U.S. government estimated the total Palestinian population at 3 million in the West Bank and 2 million in the Gaza Strip.[3] According to 2023 data, Gaza has an annual population growth rate of 1.99%,[4] while the West Bank has a population growth rate of 2.07%.[5] Hence, this would be the first genocide in which the population is increasing instead of decreasing.

Moreover, during the current war in Gaza, in order to minimize civilian casualties, the IDF made phone calls and sent text messages to the residents of buildings designated for attack.[6] Giving warnings of an attack in advance, helping to evacuate civilians, and providing aid is the opposite of a genocide.

What Is A Proportionate Response To A Massacre?

Some governments paternalistically accuse Israel of a "disproportionate" response to the October 7 attacks. Yet, what is a proportionate response to murder, rape, and burning babies? Did governments ever demand a "proportionate response" from the Allies in World War II against Nazi Germany or from Ukraine against Putin's Russia? What is the proportionate response to the daily incessant missile attacks on Israeli territory? What should Israel have done? To rape, torture, kidnap, and murder innocents in the exact numbers that Hamas did?

The high number of casualties is the result, first and foremost, of the fact that Hamas uses civilians as human shields and hides terrorists and weapons in hospitals and schools.

If the members of the Spanish government and their political allies believe the figures of dead women and children provided by Hamas, they should ask themselves several things. Whose fault is it for keeping, supposedly, thousands of children and women in a war zone where an attack has been announced? It is worth noting that the Geneva Convention prohibits the use of civilian centers for military activity. Using civilian facilities to launch attacks is a war crime.

Nevertheless, Hamas political bureau member Mousa Abu Marzouk said in an October 27, 2023 interview that aired on Russia Today TV that the tunnels in Gaza were built to protect Hamas fighters from airstrikes, and not civilians.[7] In an October 26, 2023 address, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh also said: "The blood of the women, children and elderly […] we are the ones who need this blood, so it awakens within us the revolutionary spirit, so it awakens with us resolve."[8] Most recently, Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar exalted the deaths of Palestinians as a way to help increase pressure on Israel.[9]

Double Standards

It is shameful that the Spanish government repeats, as if they were valid, the death tolls released by the Hamas Ministry of Health, and does not take into consideration tolls provided by independent entities or even by the UN, which revised down the casualty figures.[10] Could you imagine the diplomatic conflict that would have been generated if the "torture" figures that the Basque nationalist political party Batasuna invented had been accepted in Spain's war against the ETA?

Spreading false figures provided by a terrorist organization should be embarrassing in a country like Spain that has fought for decades so that the disinformation provided by the ETA and Batasuna would not be accepted by foreign media.

No Israeli Blockade

Gaza also lives off Israel. In 2021, Israel's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories announced that from January 31, 2021 to February 6, 2021, 2,116 trucks had entered to Gaza from the Kerem Shalom crossing, carrying 61,858 tons of goods and equipment and 3,229,601 liters of fuel and diesel. Furthermore, the activity of the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration in the first half of 2023 focused on bringing money into Gaza, in a sum exceeding 110 million shekels, increasing the number of workers from the Gaza Strip in Israel (the quota increased to 18,500 workers), streamlining the acceptance procedure for medical treatment in Israel, operating shuttle buses to transport patients from the Erez crossing to hospitals in Israel, establishing an oncology clinic in a hospital in Gaza, and more.[11]

If anyone is blockading Gaza and wants nothing to do with Hamas, it is clearly Egypt, which, along with many other Arab countries such as Jordan, is unwilling to take in Palestinian refugees from Gaza. It is no coincidence that Egypt built a large wall along the border with Gaza, as the El-Sisi regime doesn't want to import terrorism and doesn't want to strengthen the fundamentalist ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood in the country.

Queers For Palestine

When we hear pro-Hamas slogans at an LGTBQ or feminist protest, one cannot stop thinking about the fact that Gaza, under the dictatorship of Hamas, a terrorist organization that has refused to hold elections since 2006, executes homosexuals and oppresses women and children. As Bill Maher said, can you tell me where there is a gay bar in Gaza? Israel has freedom and Pride celebrations, but in Gaza, if you are gay, you get killed. Show up in Gaza with a Queers For Palestine banner and see what happens.

Ironically, were members of movements such as "Gays for Palestine" and "Queers for Palestine" to live in Gaza, they would probably need to seek asylum in Israel. In February 2024, amid the current Gaza war, an Israeli court decided that Palestinian LGBTQ individuals may do so. Tel Aviv District Court Judge Michal Agmon Gonen ruled that "Palestinians threatened due to their sexual orientation can apply for asylum."[12]

Many protestors say that they are not antisemitic, only anti-Zionist – as if that were a justification. And what is Zionism? Zionism is the fight and defense of an independent Jewish state, and comes from Zion, a hill in the city of Jerusalem. It is surely then antisemitism to demand that a democracy like Israel – which offers freedom of speech and freedom of religion for all, as stated in the 1948 Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel – justify its defense of its right to exist, while accepting all the lies spread by Hamas' terrorist dictatorship.

The Spanish Government Recognizes Palestine

It is shameful that the Spanish government has announced its recognition of the nonexistent Palestinian state, when no agreement conditions have been given for such a state. Hamas has neither renounced its goal of annihilating and destroying the State of Israel nor demonstrated its will for a peace agreement. Furthermore, Hamas and its ally Hizbullah continue to attack Israel. At this stage, recognition of a Palestinian state is remuneration for terrorism. Calling it an essential step for peace is nonsense.

Arabs have rejected the sharing of the land with Jews five times, in 2008, 2000, 1967, 1947 and 1936. As long as Palestinian leaders continue to stand by the slogan "from the river to the sea" – meaning the destruction of Israel – it is not possible to believe that they will accept a two-state solution.

It is laughable that Spain's second Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz said that the "river to the sea" slogan endorses the two-state solution. This is simply a way of whitewashing Hamas, which considers Palestine to comprise the entire territory from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, with no rights for the Jewish people. This appears clearly in the Hamas Charter – a religious,  antisemitic document calling for uncompromising war against Jews until Judgement Day and rejects ceding even an inch of the land of Palestine.[13]

The recognition of a Palestinian state without a qualified majority in the Spanish parliament, and without an agreement that Hamas should end its terrorist policies and relinquish its goal to eliminate Israel, is antisemitic and rewards terrorism.

From The River To The Sea – Free Of Hamas

Yes, the Spanish government and its political allies are antisemitic. Spain itself is not. When the Spanish government takes sides with a terrorist dictatorship that murders homosexuals, oppresses women, and attacks the only democracy in the Middle East, it means that the Sanchez government is allying itself with the enemies of the West and of liberal democracies in furtherance of its own political interests.

Defending Israel and fighting Hamas mean defending freedom – especially for the Palestinians, who are being intimidated and held hostage by an Islamist dictatorship. Hence, in order for Muslims, Jews, and Christians to live in freedom, we need from the river to the sea to be free of Hamas.

*Dr. Daniel Lacalle is a member of MEMRI Board of Advisors. He is a renowned Spanish economist, author, and commentator on political and economic world affairs.



[2], March 17, 2022.




[6], November 8, 2023.

[9], June 10, 2024.

[10], May 16, 2024.

GK0T-GK1C&ref=sharing&mibextid=Nif5oz, August 15, 2023.

interior-minister-seeks-reversal/0000018d-83fb-dfd5-adff-dbfbc7a00000, February 7, 2024;, February 5, 2024.

[13] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10897, The Hamas Charter – The Ideology Behind The Massacre, October 23, 2023.


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