New York, NY, September 3, 2009 … Calling it "an embarrassment for Spain," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) voiced outrage at the publication of an interview with notorious Holocaust denier David Irving in the leading Spanish newspaper El Mundo, which identified him as an "expert" on World War II.
"There is no reason to believe that the editors of El Mundo were deceived by David Irving, whose bona fides as Holocaust denier are well-known around the world," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor. "Irving is the propagandists' poster boy, and yet El Mundo presented him as a so-called 'expert,' as if his abhorrent views were credible. This sends a terrible message, legitimizes Holocaust denial, and is an embarrassment for Spain."
Irving's long record of Holocaust denial, his criminal conviction in Austria, where denial of the Holocaust is a crime, and a civil court ruling against him in Britain all have received extensive coverage in the pages of El Mundo in the past.
The interview with Irving is scheduled to appear as part of the newspaper's weekend coverage of the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of war.
"This is not a question of freedom of the press, but of the abject failure by El Mundo's editors to understand Holocaust denial for what it is, which is anti-Semitism," said Mr. Foxman. "Given Europe's history one would have thought that the editors of a major European newspaper would have known better than to give a platform to one of the world's leading purveyors of Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism."
Earlier this year, El Mundo published a cartoon that demonized the Jewish people by portraying a Hasidic Jew with barbed wire sidelocks and plumes of smoke in the background. One of its columnists, Antonio Gala, regularly traffics in anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jews.
In February 2009, an ADL survey of Attitudes Toward Jews in Seven European Countries found that in Spain, a large percentage of the population holds classic anti-Semitic beliefs. More than 64 percent of those surveyed believe that "Jews are more loyal" to Israel than to their own country, and 74 percent agreed with the statement that "Jews have too much power in international financial markets."