Israel lodged a formal complaint with Spain yesterday, charging certain individuals in Spanish schools of promoting anti-Semitic and anti-Israel ideas among young children. The letter comes after Israel's ambassador to Spain, Rafi Shotz, recently received dozens of anti-Semitic postcards from Spanish elementary school students.
The postcards bore statements including "Jews kill for money," "Leave the country to the Palestinians" and "Go somewhere where they will accept you." A Foreign Ministry official said the handwriting appears typical of children six to nine years old.
Apparently there are anti-Semitic and anti-Israel individuals who get permission to operate within schools," the official said. "Each time, the embassy has received several dozen postcards from a different school. And it seems as though whoever is doing this is moving from school to school."
The Foreign Ministry considered summoning Spain's ambassador to Israel, Alvaro Iranzo, to complain, but ultimately spoke to the envoy by telephone instead.
Naor Gilon, the ministry's deputy director for Europe, called Iranzo yesterday and said "Israel is greatly distressed" by the postcards. The envoy insisted the letters are not part of any Spanish Education Ministry program, but the initiative of private citizens.