(JTA) — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez appointed as his deputy a politician who has called Israel an “illegal country” and hosted a talk show with allegedly anti-Semitic content that aired on an Iranian-funded TV station.
The appointment Thursday of Pablo Iglesias Turrión, leader of the far-left Podemos party, follows an election in November that forced the Socialist party to partner with far-left movements to create the first coalition government in Spanish history. The government will have four deputy prime ministers.
Podemos, which won 20 percent of votes in the Spanish general election in 2015 just a year after its creation, has called for a blanket boycott of Israel and has repeatedly accused its government of pursuing apartheid-like policies.
In an interview in 2018, Iglesias said: “We need to act more firmly on an illegal country like Israel.”
Iglesias was also host of the talk show “Fort Apache,” which aired on HispanTV, a station funded by Iran.
In one discussion from 2018, journalist Teresa Aranguren said during a discussion hosted by Iglesias that “The pro-Israel lobby has the power to determine American policies from within, raising questions whether it directs that policy.”
Carlos Enrique Bayo, a journalist for the Público news site, said in the same program: “This lobby clearly wields huge media and communications power but also possesses tremendous economic clout … big financial institutions on Wall Street are basically in the hands of Jews.”