Moises Bentata and Moshe Castel Exhibition at Centro Sefarad Israel in Madrid

moises bentata cartel exposicionI had opportunity yesterday of visiting the opening of the Temporary exhibition of Moises Bentata and Moshe Castel at Centro Sefarad Israel in Madrid. It was not only an honour but a very special feeling to see how a friend of mine has converted into a well named artist.

The opening was attended by the directive staff of Centro Sefarad Israel of Madrid -Esther Bendahan- , many  friends of Moises and some other artists (as Daniel Quintero) who showed their support to this Exhibition.

All my best Wishes to Moises Bentata in his professional challenge of arts.

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Moises Bentata with Daniel Quintero and me during the opening
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A moment of the opening with Moises Bentata, Esther Bendahan -Casa Sefarad Isarel- and Mercedes Bentata -family of Moises-
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This one impacted me!

Jewish Community of Madrid: 2017 Or Januka Award

policiaThe Jewish Community of Madrid has announced that it will award its 2017 Or Januká Award to the State Security Forces and Corps for its defense of democracy and constitutional order and for “their risky work”.

According to a statement, the work of the Security Forces and Corps allows Jewish life in the capital “to develop with total normality and security.”

The Jewish Community of Madrid has also granted the Queen Sofia the Centennial Prize which commemorates a century of the official return of Jewish presence in Madrid since its expulsion in 1492. “This prize is awarded for its dedication to a democratic Spain and for its proximity to Jewish culture, “says the Jewish Community.

Anger of the Jewish Community of Barcelona against the city council

secuestro aereoThe motion approved by the Barcelona City Council condemning the Israeli occupation and colonization policies of the Palestinian territories has angered the Jewish community in the city, which it considers to be anti-Semitism. In addition, the Israeli embassy estimates that the aim is to demonize the country.

The Jewish community is considering giving a response to the municipal initiative, which occurs in a month in which two other situations have occurred that have caused a deep discomfort. The first, to know that in May will be in Barcelona Leila Khaled in Literal festival, in Fabra i Coats, one of whose main sponsors is precisely the Consistory. On August 29, 1969, she was one of two people who hijacked Flight 840 between Los Angeles and Tel Aviv, when she stopped at Rome. The aircraft was diverted to Damascus, and after lowering the 116 people aboard, the aircraft flew.

Born in 1944 and a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), on September 6, 1970, she attempted to hijack another flight between Amsterdam and Tel Aviv, but the Israeli security forces shot down her accomplice and arrested her. The apparatus was diverted to London, where it was stopped. After 28 days, she was released in an exchange of prisoners. The following year, the PFLP abandoned the tactic of the hijacking of airplanes. Khaled continues to militate in the organization.

A Palestinian activist who hijacked two planes will participate in a festival sponsored by the Consistory
In addition, the City Council has notified that it will not participate again in the Holocaust Teaching Seminar, which has been developed for five years and is intended for teachers.

The motion was approved a week ago, in the commission of Presidency, Drets of Ciutadania, Participació i Seguretat and Prevenció, and counted with the favorable votes of Barcelona in Comú, PSC, CUP and ERC. Ciutadans and Partido Popular protested against it, and the PDCat abstained, although its representative said in his turn that the resolution had an anti-Semitic bias.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli embassy deplored, in conversation with La Vanguardia, the motion, saying it had nothing to do with defending or supporting the Palestinians, or seeking a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but These are initiatives that pursue “the demonization of Israel”. The spokeswoman added her discomfort because “a democratic institution has been dragged by a free anti-Israeli obsession” in a city that is the third world destination for Jewish tourists.

The Jewish community is irritated because it considers that it is an act of anti-Semitism, and that there are no similar pronouncements by what happens in Turkey or by the acts of the Islamic State. In reality it is not possible to speak of one community, but of four, that have different orientations. The main one is the Israeli Community of Barcelona, ​​which is the largest and precisely in 2017 is one hundred years. Then there are ATID and Ben Shalom, more progressive, and the Center for Jewish Studies Chabad Lubavitch, Orthodox. Although they have differences between them, they agree to give a joint response to the initiatives of the City Council. Some 6,000 Jews reside in Barcelona.

Barcelona: young anti-Semite condemned to visit a synagogue

sinagogabalmes3A judge in Barcelona has sentenced a young man of 22 years to four months in prison, special disqualification for the right of suffrage and about 500 euros fine for having painted a Nazi swastika at the door of a synagogue in the Catalan capital. The sentence nevertheless agrees to suspend the sentence of deprivation of liberty, if the defendant complies with a series of rules of conduct. The first: not to commit crime for two years. And the second, more in the way of education, condemns the young anti-Semite to participate in a human rights course aimed at full respect for equality and non-discrimination of people, especially for anti-Semitic reasons, and to be taught By the Department of Justice of the Generalitat. These courses should include visits to the synagogue, to know the reality of the Jewish people and “break prejudices and anti-Semitic stereotypes,” according to the ruling issued by the TSJC.

The events occurred on December 28, 2016. The young man who has been convicted acted with a woman “unidentified” according to the sentence, “moved by their animosity and willingness to humiliate the Jewish people.” They approached a synagogue in Barcelona and with a spray, while the young man carried out surveillance work, the woman drew a swastika at the door of the temple and sprinkled with red the mezuza, the small receptacle located on the right side of the entrances of all House that professes the Jewish religion. The young man has been convicted of an offense committed on the occasion of the exercise of fundamental rights in his way of injuring the dignity of people for anti-Semitic reasons.

The Israeli consul recalls the struggle of the Jews in Catalonia for freedom

The Fossar de la Pedrera has become the scene this morning of an act of remembrance of the struggle of the Jews in Catalonia for freedom. The ceremony has been convened by four entities: the Jewish Community Atid, Chabad Lubavitch, the Progressive Jewish Community Bet Shalom and the Israeli Community. The act was carried out just in front of the monument at the entrance of the cemetery which consists of ten stones; One for each Nazi concentration camp.

The Israeli consul in Barcelona, ​​José Antonio Sánchez Molina, was in charge of pronouncing the speech of the memorial. He recalled that today’s meeting was a reminder of “the struggle for freedom and the right to be different,” and against racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism. “In this trench lies 4,000 people persecuted by the dictatorship, and also the bodies of 7,000 Jews who came to Barcelona to fight for their freedom and for the Republic,” said Sánchez Molina.

The consul explained that the survivors of the Shoah (the Hebrew term for the Nazi Holocaust) were among the founders of the State of Israel, “a state of law where very different religions coexist and where all kinds of orientations are respected, From Jews to Muslims to Christians. Sánchez Molina recalled that Tel Aviv is the only gay friendly city in the Middle East, and that Israel is a consolidated democracy. The event has been supported by ACAI and Israel in Catalonia.

The act has served to recall the Holocaust and the six million murders, among which 1 million and a half were children. He has also used to explain the large number of concentration camps during the genocide, not only those of Jews, also those who imprison people for being homosexual or disabled. He ended up assuring that they will never stop denouncing this cause with the best weapon of all: the word. In a veiled allusion to the motion approved by the Barcelona City Council endorsing the boycott in Israel, the consul has indicated that “today we find a resurgence of anti-Semitism, but it has new forms, it is polyhedral.” “Now it’s anti-Zionism, a boycott of Israel, but do not deceive yourself, it’s anti-Semitism, it’s the same thing, they’ll find us with the weapons of speech, negotiation and dialogue to deal with this offensive,” he added. The consul has asked that it not become “the victims in executioners, and the executioners in victims”.

The most universal jew from Girona(Spain): Bonastruc

BonastrucJournalist and writer Miquel Fañanàs, 68, finds it hard to keep track of the books he has published. The last, ‘Bonastruc, el jueu’, recently published by the publishing house Columna, is the 21st and completes a trilogy of historical novel, together with ‘The Stone Witch’ and ‘The Great Inquisitor’, published in 2012 and 2015 respectively .

-“Did you have a trilogy in your mind?” Honestly no. It all starts with the success of ‘The Stone Witch’, with which I won the novel award Néstor Luján. Then I was asked for another novel and I thought about developing one of the referenced characters, the Inquisitor Nicholas Emeric. And when the publishers told me I could do a third book, to compensate for a figure as evil as the inquisitor, I chose the good Bonastruc.

– “The three have in common the beliefs, the religions, the heresy” … Yes, and all three are related to the city of Girona. The stone witch, for example, refers to a gargoyle with a female form that is in the cathedral of Girona, something quite strange and unique in the world. For his part, Nicolau Emeric, the Catholic theologian and inquisitor general of Corona d’Aragó, protagonist of ‘The Great Inquisitor’, was born and studied in Girona, although he also made his own in Barcelona. Bonastruc Ça Porta, which comes out in some way in the two previous novels, is the most universal of Girona’s Jews.

-“Why Bonastruc?” Bonastruc, born Moixé Ben Nahman and known as Nahmànides, was a very important character in the thirteenth century, and I think it is worth reclaiming his figure. He was a great Kabbalist, interpreted sacred texts, and left numerous sermons and poems. His legacy, his philosophical thought, is very important, comparable to that of figures like Ramon Llull, whom we know much better.

-“They meet each other in your book.” It is not documented that they were known, but they coincided in time and everything points that could have been seen.

-As the previous two, ‘Bonastruc the Jueu’ is a novelada biography. Yes, it is not a history book. I use historical elements and real figures to create a novel. It has action, love, suspense, hatred, revenge … And a surprising ending.

-This type of novels, with a historical background, have had a lot of pull for a few years. People have long seemed interested in history, or the one that touches us more closely, with events such as the Spanish Civil War, or More distant, like the medieval period. It’s funny, but maybe it’s to counteract so much technology …

– I understand that behind a novel like ‘Bonastruc, the jueu’ there is a great work of previous investigation. Yes, I documented myself in the library of the Center Bonastruc Ça Porta de Girona and with the invaluable help of its director. There I found, among other things, a booklet published in 1985 very interesting about the figure of Bonastruc and I was able to acquire Jewish terminology.

-“How long has it taken you to write this novel?” A whole year. It’s the second book I write as a retiree, the second I write full-time. Well, actually, in the evenings. Four hours each day.

-“And you’re preparing the next one, am I right?” Well, I have not started, but I plan to recover my first book, ‘Susqueda’, published in 1983. It will be the same story but with more characters, with more action. This was a novel, and my idea is to update and expand it.

-Why? This book deals with the collapse of the dam Susqueda, a great infrastructure launched by Franco in 1968, and the panic that caused the water to come down among the residents. The new version will come out next year coinciding with its 50th anniversary.

– What can advance us? Somehow I would like to include in this novel an anecdote that happened during the promotion of the book, in 1983. We happened to read some fragments in a transmitter of Girona, a little theatrical, with sound effects, and the people believed it. As in ‘War of the Worlds’ by Orson Welles. Police came to the studio to stop the broadcast because more than 3,000 people had mobilized, totally terrified.