Spanish councilman who favored burning of Jews resigns as cultural head

Zapata, who was sworn in on Saturday, tweeted in 2011 “How do you fit five million Jews in a SEAT 600 [a Spanish automobile]? In the ashtray.”

By
June 15, 2015 18:11
2 minute read.
Entrance to Auschwitz

Auschwitz. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

BERLIN – Guillermo Zapata, the Madrid city councilman in charge of cultural and sport affairs, resigned his post on Monday because of a series of anti-Jewish tweets that mocked the Holocaust.

Zapata, who was sworn in on Saturday, tweeted in 2011, “How do you fit five million Jews in a SEAT 600 [a Spanish automobile]? In the ashtray.”

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


His tweets unleashed a firestorm of criticism in Spain. Two Twitter hashtags calling for his resignation#ZapataDimisión or #ZapataDimision electrified the Twittersphere and were trending at one point.

Zapata, who also defended a journalist on Twitter from the daily El Pais who denied the Holocaust and was later dismissed, wrote on Tumbler on Sundaý, “Now some of those tweets, which were written within the context of a conversation on black humor, have been recovered with the goal of presenting them as though they represented my ideas – while in fact I do not defend them at all.”

He added, “I firmly condemn all forms of racism, and, of course, anti-Semitism. I believe the Jewish Holocaust teaches us a lesson that humanity must never forget, so that it is never repeated.”

It is unclear whether Zapata will step down from his city councilman seat in addition to resigning from his post in charge of cultural and sport affairs.

According to reports, Zapata lampooned the Holocaust and gas chambers. He has since deleted his account and opened a new Twitter feed without the anti-Jewish micro-blogs. Zapata is a member of a leftwing party, Ahora Madrid (Madrid Now), that is associated with anti-Israel activities.



US foreign policy expert Walter Russell Mead wrote on the website of the American Interest, ”The leftist party Ahora Madrid (an affiliate of Podemos) is big on BDS [Boycott, Sanctions ,Divestment] perhaps unsurprisingly; there is a profound, longstanding connection between anti-capitalist ideology (both of the left- and right-wing varieties) in Europe and anti-Semitism.”

Opposition politicians and journalists called for Mayor Manuela Carmena, from Ahora Madrid, to dismiss Zapata.

In a statement to The Jerusalem Post, the Jewish community of Madrid said it “expresses its concern” for the anti-Semitic tweets and has requested from the new mayor to dismiss Zapata.

“The Jewish community of Madrid has issued an immediate communique asking for explanations and obviously denouncing these types of comments and we also stated that we will not tolerate any kind of anti-Semitism,” said David Hatchwell, the president of the Jewish community of Madrid and vice president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain.

Related Content

President Reuven Rivlin visits Herzog College for 929 study program
July 16, 2018
929 daily Bible study project to launch in English

By JEREMY SHARON