In a report released in May 2012 on anti-Semitism in Spain for the year 2011, the Observatorio de Antisemitismo counted more than 1,000 anti-Semitic sites and web pages that it said were created in Spain. In 2010 the observatory counted 400 such sites. The observatory includes Spanish Facebook pages and groups in its reports. Report can be found by pressing here.
The Observatorio de Antisemitismo (Observatory on Anti-Semitism) was established in 2009 by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain and the Movement against Intolerance, within the framework of the Second International Seminar on Anti-Semitism in Spain in November 2009.
The objective of the Observatorio was to centralize, and analyze incidents of an Anti-Semitic nature in Spain, identify their instigators, and encourage reflection through analysis and publications.
The Observatory receives reports of anti-Semitic acts in Spain through its website: and through Jewish and anti-racist organizations. It also has a group of volunteers who monitor possible cases of Anti-Semitism.
The report on 2011 is the Observatory's third annual monitor report and includes all of the anti-Semitic acts registered by the Observatory, classified in the following categories.
Attacks against people
Attacks against property Media
Trivialization of the Holocaust
Diffusion of anti-Semitic literature
Public Institutions and organizations
In addition to the observatory's research of anti-Semitic websites, the observatory received 57 reports of anti-Semitic incidents in 2011. Of those, the observatory deemed 42 to be anti-Semitic. In 2010, the center received half the number of reports.
A few of the reported incidents involved the heckling of Jews in public.
On the 17th of September, 17, 2011, members of the Cultural Association “Sefarad Aragón”, who were meeting in a mall in Saragossa, participating in a public event, were insulted and assaulted by a group of youth. The youths allegedly told the group that Jews were "fascists, racist murderers" and that "there should be no Jews in the world."
Several of the matches of the basketball Euroleague, throughout the year, have been the scene of Anti-Semitic insults and behavior. These aggressions took place during several matches in which the Maccabi Tel Aviv team was playing and during matches with other teams with Jewish and/or Israeli players.
In ACB matches (men's professional basketball league in Spain), these incidents also occur. For example, on April 24, 2011, in a match between Asefa Estudiantest and Menorca Bàsquet, in the Sports Palace of Madrid, were heard, on numerous occasions, boos and shouts of “Murderer Jews” directed to Limonav Raviv, Israeli player of Menorca Bàsquet.
"There is growing public awareness of the [observatory] initiative," a Jewish federation spokesperson said.
During 2011, "there have been notable progresses in the legal field, as well as increased efforts in the fight against anti-Semitism," the Observatory on Anti-Semitism in Spain's report said.
The observatory nonetheless called on the political establishment to address "ambiguous wording" in the penal code. This, according to the observatory, leads to "contradictions" in the fight against hate crimes.
Further information on the situation of anti-Semitism in Spain was given on November 30- December 1, 2011 during the Fourth International Seminar on Anti-Semitism hosted at the Caja Navarra Foundation in Madrid.
(Picture above is of graffiti at the entrance to the Caja Navarra Foundation during the Fourth International Seminar on Anti-Semitism)
"The levels of anti-Semitism in Spain are among the highest in Europe," wrote the Spanish daily, El Pais, and described at the conference. According to a poll, 52% of Spanish students declared that they would not like to have a Jewish classmate sitting next to them, and 58% of adults thought that Jews have too much power and that they are all too rich.
The organizers of the Madrid conference said they were sad and bewildered that anti-Semitism "is a problem that is often denied in the country." The Federation of the Jewish Communities in Spain (FCJE) also stated that although surveys indicate that there are high levels of "hostility" towards Jews, "most leaders and media persons believe there is no prejudice whatsoever against Jews." However, sociologist Alejandro Baer explains that the situation has become unbearable and that it is time to face the problem: "In Spain, insults, writings and slogans against Jews are considered normal."
Baer added that anti-Semitism in Spain is particularly surprising, as "there are hardly any Jews." Even though the percentage of Jews in Spain is only the 0.2% of the population, negative stereotypes are very much present and they are the symptom of a "social pathology."
Anti-Semitism has been Spain's problem since the reconquista in 1492, when the Catholic Kings, Isabel and Ferdinand, obliged the Jewish community either to convert to Catholicism or to flee the country. Over 300,000 Jews left Spain; those who remained where absorbed into the Catholic community, apart from a few who continued to practice their faith in secret (Marranos).
The creation of the State of Israel became a vehicle for expressing the existing prejudice against Jews. Some Spanish regimes have not missed the opportunity to display a clear aversion to the Jewish state, thereby whipping up hatred against the Jews in the general public. It took Spain until 1986 to recognize Israel diplomatically.
During the two-day conference in Madrid, the president of the FCJE, Isaac Querub Caro, tried to describe the phenomenon of anti-Semitism in Spain, saying that this hate is so illogical that it is hard to explain it: "We are often asked why the Jews have been being hated so much and for so long. The question has to be made to those who hate us, not to those who are hated."
Carolina Aisen, coordinator of the Observatory on Anti-Semitism, has stressed that so far, "Spanish ant-Semitism does not involve any act of violence… Mostly, [attacks] consist of writings or offensive comments on different media outlets or on the Internet, but there is no personal aggression." It was noted that there is, however, a tendency within the Spanish institutions to underestimate the danger deriving from continuously slandering Jews.
Author and jurist Jorge Trias Sagnier reminded the audience that last April the Supreme Court of Madrid acquitted four neo-Nazis, as it is not considered a crime to utter sentences such as, "Germans were wrong not to burn them all," or that "Jews are a pestilential and dangerous breed. "Trías Sagnier, who participated in the debate, " The Penal Struggle against Anti-Semitism and Hate Offenses," expressed his repugnance of the Tribunal's sentencing, describing it as "barbaric."