The ACOM organization has launched the “Vote with Conscience” campaign to promote responsible voting in the face of anti-Semitic candidates that are running in the upcoming elections in the Madrid region.
ACOM, a leading group in the fight against anti-Semitism in Spain, is asking voters in Madrid to vote with an awareness of the hostility against Jews expressed by some of the political groups that are running in the upcoming May 4 local elections, and specifically Unidas Podemos and Mas Madrid.
The anti-Semitism watchdog released a clip in which Jewish activists from Madrid are seen expressing their concern about anti-Semitic candidates such as Podemos’ Pablo Iglesias, who is financed by Iran. They warn that “normalized Jewish life in Madrid is at risk.”
Iglesias, until recently VP of the socialist-communist coalition government in Spain, has promoted aggressive discriminatory campaigns from governmental institutions against Israelis in the country as well as other pro-Israel Spanish citizens.
He has declared that “the Holocaust was a mere bureaucratic problem,” that “Israel is a criminal state” and has accused Israel of “applying an apartheid policy.” These are anti-Semitic claims, as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism.
Podemos and the Mas Madrid party have tried to pass a motion in the Madrid parliament for the region to formally join the international boycott campaign on Israel. ACOM noted that such a motion would have made Madrid, the capital region of Spain and center of Spain’s social, political and economic relations, “a ghetto that would have excluded the citizens of the Jewish state and any pro-Israel Spanish citizens from any type of commercial, social, cultural or civic relationship with the regional Administration.”
The two anti-Israel groups pushed similar motions in some 100 other regions and cities in Spain, but ACOM was successful in defeating Podemos’ BDS campaign across the country with over 70 court resolutions declaring the motions discriminatory and unconstitutional.