The President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain, Isaac Benzaquén Pinto, acknowledges in an interview with El Independiente that “we never thought that what we witnessed that day could happen,” referring to the Hamas massacre on October 7th.
Antisemitism is on the rise not only in Spain but throughout Europe. Benzaquén confesses, “I had never seen such an increase in antisemitism in all my life as what we are observing these days,” citing his hometown Melilla as an example. Melilla, which has always been an example of coexistence, is now showing worrisome signs.
Benzaquén, who has been leading the Jewish community in Spain for three and a half years, consisting of around 45,000 people and growing, hopes that once Hamas is eliminated, both the Israeli and Palestinian people can find ways to live in peace. He emphasizes, “Eliminating Hamas will be good not only for Israel but for everyone. And if Israel achieves that, then we can talk about peace.”
“In the calendar of sorrowful days for the Jewish people, undoubtedly, October 7th will be remembered for generations. What happened in Israel on that date is the worst act of killing Jewish citizens we have experienced since the Holocaust. Israel remains shaken by what occurred. The country is trying to recover gradually, but undoubtedly, in the history of the small State of Israel, there is a before and after October 7th” said Benzaquén.