Spanish minister says ‘river to the sea’ slogan endorses 2-state solution

Cnaan Lidor is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

A Spanish cabinet minister who ended a speech with the slogan “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free” says it was an endorsement of the two-state solution.

Labor Minister Yolanda Díaz, who is also a deputy prime minister of Spain, tells the EFE news agency that her call during a speech last week urging the European Union to break ties with Israel was not a call for ethnically cleansing it of Jews, as her critics charge, but an endorsement of how “Israel and Palestine must share a future of peace and prosperity,” Díaz tell EFE.

“I’m not antisemitic,” she adds, responding to criticism to that effect by multiple Jewish groups in Spain and beyond. The slogan refers to the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

European Jewish groups are not convinced by her defense.

“She must resign,” the European Jewish Association says in a statement after Díaz’s clarification. The use of the slogan by Díaz, who ended a filmed speech with it on Wednesday, “carries with it echoes of the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Spain in 1492.” Her statement “is also an endorsement of Hamas’ ideology,” EJA writes.

ACOM, a pro-Israel lobby group based in Madrid, calls Díaz — a communist and leader of the Sumar far-left party — a “miserable Nazi.”

These allegations on Saturday and Sunday follow a wave of condemnations last week, including by Israel and the European Jewish Congress, which accused Díaz of promoting “hatred and violence against Jews.”

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