(photo credit: AP)
There is no reason for Israelis to avoid traveling to Spain, a staffer at the Spanish Embassy in Tel Aviv said on Wednesday, two days after an Israeli businessmen suffered light wounds to his head when he and Israeli colleagues were attacked by pro-Palestinian activists in Madrid.
The source referred to the incident as unusual and not indicative of a worsening atmosphere toward Israelis or Jews in Spain.
Monday’s attack took place outside a conference at the Autonomous University of Madrid that was initiated by the Spain-Israel Chamber of Commerce. The businessman was injured while he was fleeing in a police car that was hit by a volley of rocks.
During the conference, hundreds of anti-Israel protesters stormed the hall before panel discussions began. The location of the conference had been changed following the raid on the Free Gaza flotilla last Monday, but protesters found the new venue and descended on the hall chanting anti-Israel slogans.
Police rushed to the scene and began to escort the Israelis away, while they came under a hail of stones, paint and assorted other objects.
Madrid police said they have not made any arrests, but that they believe
that most of the rioters were Muslim.
On Wednesday, the Counter-Terrorism Bureau of the National Security
Council said there was no travel warning whatsoever for Spain.
The attack came after organizers of a gay pride parade scheduled for
this week in Madrid asked Israelis not to attend due to security issues.
The request nixed a planned visit by a contingent from Israel’s Gay
Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Association and the Foreign Ministry,
which were to share a float in the parade.
In addition, organizers on Wednesday canceled a concert at which
transgender Israeli singer Dana International was set to perform.
A concert the 1998 Eurovision contest winner had scheduled for later in
June in the Turkish city of Antalya was also canceled.