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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Spain denies any involvement in "Israel boycott" ad (updated - But...)

From JPost:
A “public service” advertisement on Palestinian television calling for the boycott of Israeli goods is not being paid for by Spanish tax payers’ euros, Spanish Ambassador Alvar Iranzo told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday.

Iranzo was responding to a video posted Tuesday by the Palestinian Media Watch organization showing the ad, which has been running for the last week on PA TV. The advertisement announces at the end that it was sponsored by the Spanish government, the Spanish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, AECID (Spanish governmental humanitarian aid development), ACSUR (a Spanish nonprofit organization), and the Canaan Joint Development Project for Jerusalem.

Iranzo said the Spanish Foreign Ministry and its aid arm, AECID, both denied financing the advertisement, and that the NGO listed as a sponsor had sent a letter to the ministry saying it bore no direct responsibility for the video.

“We are the victims of this fraud,” the ambassador said.

He added that he had not yet contacted PA TV to determine how this had happened, but that the Spanish consulgeneral in Jerusalem would follow up on the matter. Iranzo said his first priority was to check with Madrid and find out if there was any Spanish involvement.

The Spanish envoy said the government was intent on seeing who was responsible for the advertisement and misuse of his government’s logo.

“The substance of the advertisement is in frontal opposition to the government’s opposition to any boycott of Israeli goods, much less a blanket boycott like the one insinuated in the video,” he said.

UPDATE: An email correspondent notes that the "Travel Palestine" website, which defines Palestine as covering the area from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, is also funded by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation.