I live in Spain. I am Jewish. I am sometimes in favor of the international policy of the government of Israel but during the governments of Ariel Sharon and Olmert I have been mostly against these policies. For example I was against what I considered a disproportionate retaliation to the Hizbollah attack. As a result of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon I created a spontaneous vehicle to donate to the Lebanese who were victims of this invasion called Jews For Lebanon. And my personal opinion is that again the Israeli government over reacted to the attacks of Hamas last week and killed many innocent civilians in Gaza including children. Now that is my opinion. But the problem with El Pais, Spain´s leading newspaper and Jose Maria Ridao in particular the journalist who writes the article, is that in order to disagree with the policies of the government of Israel they simply lie. The one page article in El Pais written by Jose Maria Ridao says that the Israeli government declared (and this is clearly false) that should Israeli civilians continued to be bombed from Gaza the Israeli government would undertake a “holocaust of the Palestinian people”. Yes, in those words, a holocaust as if this is something that the Israeli government could possibly say. And moreover in order to illustrate this anti Israeli article, Nazi imagery is used that includes in big letters and in an illustration that occupies a quarter page the horrendous Nazi phrase “Arbeit Macht Frei” (image is not in the online edition). But as you can guess these images do not mean to remind us of the 6 million Jews and other victims of the Nazi Holocaust but instead to show us how committed the Israeli government seems to be to its own holocaust. As I said I live in Spain. And I am by now a Spanish citizen. And there are many, many things I love about Spain. But it is hard and sad for me to see that the majority of the Spanish people, and I mean what I say, probably believes the article. Indeed El Pais contains a voting platform and other than my vote all other votes were extremely positive.

Addition after reading comments:

Even though an Israeli official evidently made those comments that I was not aware of and then the Israeli government immediately clarified that it did not mean that it was its plan to commit a holocaust on the Palestinian people I still think that my general comment about El Pais stands. The question really is this. We all know what the holocaust was, it was the systematic killing in gas chambers of the vast majority of European Jews plus other minorities including gypsies. So the key issue here is. Does El Pais really believe that that is the plan of the State of Israel, to systematically kill every Palestinian person in a way that is similar to Hitler´s final solution? I don´t think so.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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