…or something

I don’t mean to be a dick, but… how the hell did Spain ever manage to control an Empire? After they expelled the Jews in 1492 it’s all been downhill! I thought a great example of this irreversible process was deminstrated in 2004 after the Madrid train bombings where 191 Spaniards were killed and 1800 injured by an allegedly Al-Quaeda inspired terrorist operation that took place 3 days before general elections. The Spanish were such wusses that in the immediate aftermath of the bombings, the incumbent José María Aznar’s Partido Popular (PP) was defeated despite having had a small lead in the polls earlier. The PP was strongly anti-terror but lost to the anti-Iraq war Spanish Socialist Party who then almost immediately pulled Spanish troops from Iraq.

Nice. And now? Abacus a chain of Spanish toy stores has pulled the Israeli game Rummikub off it’s shelves as a protest against the recent fauxtilla fiasco. Y-Net reports:

“We carried the game until now because it is very interesting from a pedagogical perspective,” said Quim Sicília, one of the senior managers of the Abacus chain, to the Spanish newspaper. “But as a cooperative, we see what is going on, and we must be sensitive to the social situations.”

Look, I may not agree with the BDS movement but you can’t fault the execs at Abacus for their good intentions. Clearly they were horrified by the humanitarian disaster that is Gaza and the Zionist thug siege that exacerbates it. Clearly they wanted to make a statement of support not just on behalf of the long-suffering Palestinians, but also on behalf of all the oppressed people of the world.

The Spaniards replaced the Israeli Rummikub game with a cheap knockoff from China, that bulwark of Democracy and human rights.


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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Geeeeeeeeeeezzzzz….. I come to Jewlicious hoping to read about Lindsey Lohan and Eilat Anschel, her new Israeli buddy, bodyguard or girl-toy…. I half expect to read a Jewlicious.com headline like… “Lindsay Lohan to Snorkel in Eilat”.. or “Lohan says Eilat is Too Hot.”

    but what do i get?

    intellectual reads on Spain


  • Intellectual read on Spain, this!? I think not!

    As a Spaniard I take exception to your irresponsible, ignorant remarks. It seems to me you would clearly benefit from a little reflexion and a modicum of concern for getting your facts right before your write anything that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, assuming you want to be taken seriously by any discerning individual, that is… If the opposite were the case and you are happy with spitting out anything that crosses your mind (or your guts, rather), then stop at this point. You don’t need to read any further, lest your mind suffers too much strain.

    Let’s start with the title of your post, the preposterous “some Spaniards are clearly idiotic”. So far, so good, so long as you are ready to agree that some Israelis, Canadians, Maltese, Zimbabwans et cetera are so too. No country is free of a certain level of idiocy among its citizens. There we agree.

    My indignant objection comes from the illogical, inconsistent, ill-informed, ill-intentioned reasoning you follow to reach that conclusion. As I mentioned above, you first decide to describe some of my fellow countrymen as idiotic but then, without further explanation, you decide that it s not only some but the whole country that deserves that description, as implied in your question “how the hell did Spain ever manage to hold an empire?” To begin with, the implications of that insinuation are dangerous to say the least, as it would follow that, according to you, a good measure of a country’s worth and of the intelligence of its citizens would be how well they do as a colonizing power. Now, have you stopped to reflect how hateful that is? I would get myself psychoanalysed on that one If I were in your shoes: too much admiration for dominance. If you are curious to know, though, Spain held most of her colonies for about 420 years. Nothing I or any modern Spaniard should be either proud of or apologetic about.

    As for the expulsion of the Sephardim, most Spanish historians agree that it was detrimental in many respects both for Spain and, of course, for the poor souls that were banished from their country and divested of all possessions, alienated from many of their loved ones, but I’m sorry to tell you that using what happened over 500 years ago to disparage us is a pitiful attempt to say the least. It would be equal to holding you responsible for the wrongs your ancestors committed 30 generations back, or assuming you suffer from the same vices as they had. Utterly ludicrous, don’t you think? Unless you are a racist, that is, and consider that personality traits and ethnicity go hand in hand. Considering your admiration for dominance, I would not put racism past you, now that I think of it. Apart from that, the chances that many of us have a Jewish convert somewhere down our family line are statistically very significant. In that case, we would have to individually work out what percentage of us should apologise.

    As for your statement that everything has been downhill for Spain since then, well, not so downhill, my friend. The current crisis is hitting us hard, but still then, our country is doing quite better than yours on most counts, including per capita GNP and any other indexes of development you may care to have a look at. In the Economist 2010 Quality of Life Index, to give you an example, Spain is right below Denmark and above Finland, while you are right bellow Mexico. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Does this highlight the need for you to get your facts right? I hope it helps. By the way, not trying to be ageist but, how old are you?

    As for the Madrid train Bombings and their repercussions on the general election results, you show as clear signs of being brainwashed by the conservative media and in favour of the Iraq war as many people were in the USA during the Bush term. The Republicans were clearly spiteful for the withdrawal of our troops and had to retaliate somehow. I’ll say it clearly: anyone with a minimun knowledge of Spanish society (which you obviously lack) knows that what really influenced the results was the conviction many voters had they were being lied to by the incumbent administration as for who had been the authors of the attack.. The Spanish equivalent of the Home Office Secretary kept saying that it had been the Basque Separatist Group ETA, when everything pointed in a different direction. I can tell you that the INDIGNATION WAS PALPABLE EVERYWHERE –they were using a lie to try to avert a shift in voting intentions- apart from the 90% of us who opposed the war in the first place. Wussies? Not in our style: we are a proud nation, not prone to being blackmailed, but also very empathetic and very conciliatory, and have suffered only too recently in the form of a bloody civil war what the old adagio says “violence only breeds violence” (referred pragmatically to the situation in Iraq, not to the terrorist attacks). Plus, if you look at the recent history of Spain, Socialist governments have been in office for most of the time. I KNOW I’m 100% right on this one, and I’m seldom so categorical. Also, the Socialist candidate had promised in his programme to withdraw the troops, so it was not a consequence of the bombings: he was just keeping his promise and acting according to the will of an overwhelming majority of Spaniards reflected in opinion polls, I insist, BEFORE THE ATTACKS.

    As for your criticism of the pulling off the shelves of a toy made in Israel, well, I also think it is a bit excessive (this is getting dangerous: this is the second time I agree with you). I’m going to reserve to myself the judgement I make on the Palestinian situation, the flotilla etc. I’ll just say that I feel like the majority of Europeans, as the bunch of “wussies” you probably think we are, not to mention the rest of the world, the UNO etc. But it is ok, just continue with the law of tallion to the power of 10, killing mosquitoes with cannon-balls and claiming antisemitism when anyone criticises your country’s actions… My admiration goes for all moderate, well-meaning Israelis, my utter despise to the perpetrators of violence on both sides of the conflict.

  • Wow, the proud Spaniard responded with a comment 3 or 4 times the length of the post. Reminds me of myself. But Mr. Sepharad, who are you kidding about the election results and the reasons behind the outcome?

  • Yeah, proud, you got it. Proud and brave as all my fellow countrymen have been usually stereotyped as; aren’t we the country of bullfighters after all? Don’t you find it suspicious how stereotypes are altered by the media and other opinion lobbies depending on who benefits from them at a given time? Spite, grudge and belligerance are the key words here. Anyone with an inkling of what Spanish society is like would know what I mean. If, in spite of the first-hand information I’ve given here you refuse to question your assumptions, then that is your problem. Aren’t you the one who is kidding himself/herself? Am I to assume that you would find it natural that people would vote to a party who spreads lies deliberately, or is it that you believe I’m lying myself? No more time for me to waste here… You clearly would not recognise a truth if it hit you in the face.

    • Spaniard “proud and brave” and bullfighting as a “proof” of it. What a shame… French and Portuguese have bullfighting too but at least they don’t make big loud alround it. If Spaniards are so brave, why Sevilla’s hooligans were defeated by 20 Porto fans in 2009?

  • Um, when I think of Spain, I think of Picasso, paella, Majorca and Gaudi, not “proud and brave” Spaniards. Also, I also think about the Spanish Civil War and all those years you had Franco in power.

    In other words, who cares about your stereotypes argument? Certainly not me.

    The facts of the election after the bombing are clear. You shouldn’t feel so bad. Israel voted Netanyahu into office in ’96 instead of Peres after 3 suicide bombings by Palestinians.

  • Wait Sepharad, are you serious? “Proud and brave as all my fellow countrymen have been usually stereotyped as; aren’t we the country of bullfighters after all?” You think Bullfighters are brave?? Bullfighting is a sadistic “sport” that inordinately favors the “fighter” above the bull. More people get hurt playing peewee league soccer than in bullfighting.

    Now I do have a soft spot for Spain thanks to a couple of fine women from Barcelona that I met in NYC. They would laugh at your preposterous posturing. If your attitude is common amongst Spanish men, it’s no wonder my lady friends had to go to America for some less ridiculous male company.

    This post was written tongue in cheek, Sepharad. Of course not all Spaniards are idiots! But the actions of Abacus do not reflect well on Spain, and as a Spaniard concerned with his country’s honor, you should condemn the chain’s decision as being patently stupid.

  • Who would win if Zohan and an average Matador went toe-to-toe in the boxing ring?

    I’d have to give the edge to Zohan because he can punch people with his feet. Then again, the Matador has a sword so he gets points for reach and thrusting action.

  • The day after our trains exploded, most of us were thinking: “we TOLD you this would happen, Aznar, you arrogant lying fuck”. And then we see Interior Minister Acebes on TV saying “It was ETA, trust me, no matter what those muslim terrorists are claiming!” A complete lie and a pathetic try to use their “strong anti-terror” image to make the most political advantage out of it.

    PP lost so badly that day because all the liberals in the country stood up and went voting. Liberals were terribly demoralized and miserable after 8 years of a right wing goverment, but this tragedy made them stand up against their own cynicism and vote.

    We’ve seen this before. Something terrible happens and a lot of infuriated people-who normally wouldn’t care-stand up and vote, resulting in an abnormally high number of votes (like 15% above normal). Something similar happened in 1996 when a huge network of corruption was discovered in the goverment.

    Besides, we never wanted to go to Iraq, that illegal, criminal war. Nobody in the world except the US swallowed that WMD bullshit and we demonstrated continuosly against it. Leaving Iraq was actually the right thing to do because it had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks. Fortunately, the US seems to be getting at the same conclusion now, which is like six years later. “New Dawn”. Nice.

    Now I’d love to see how you support that lovely Republican nominee Christine O’Donnell by saying that your getting out of Iraq is “a victory”. That would be hilarious.

    As for the chain thing, Abacus didn’t change their politics towards China at all. They were selling Chinese toys before this happened. When a certain toy was removed, the gap was filled with what was already there. I don’t see why one thing should imply another. Why didn’t the US “liberated” the Chinese people by bombing them just as you have “liberated” the iraqis? Aren’t you all for freedom and democracy? Wow, you must be so idiotic not to bomb China, right? Oh no I’m sorry I’ve just remembered–you actually supported dictator Saddam in the 80s because of your economic interests. Yeah.

  • “Fauxtilla” News! According to the United Nations, the military raid on the flotilla was unlawful, brutal and disproportionate.

    It doesn’t matter though. As always, the US will veto any possible sanction against his best friend forever Israel in the Security Council and that’ll be it.

    • Jose, don’t get too excited, it’s just the so-called Human Rights Council. That body is a joke. And like the Goldstone Report, Israel did not submit any evidence to them. Meanwhile, the Turks permitted the ship’s captain to speak to this commission but not to the main UN commission investigating the matter which is receiving Israeli testimony.

      The US appears to be very smart about Israel.

  • If u don´t know that spaniards are proud and brave is because u don´t know anithing about our History, ask in Europe.

  • In the other hand, there are many spaniards who are completly idiot. I hate them too… nothing to do with the nationality because i´m spaniard.

  • Indeed, Franco refused to give their Jews to Hitler ¿That was idiot too? U don´t know nothing about my homland of stupid people.

  • Ck, really, I think you should seriously consider dusting off your philosophy books from secondary school and carefully revise the logic section, assuming you do philosophy in Israel at that level, that is. We do in Spain.

    Fristly, nothing from what I said would lead a well-structured mind to infer that I am in favour of bullfighting. For your information, I abhor it (and I am not alone, as about 70% of Spaniards polled dislike it). I was just illustrating the point that stereotypes are sometimes intentionally shifted depending on the interests at play at a given time… Have you got it now, or do I have to delve into a deeper explanation for your benefit?

    Secondly, yes, stereotypes about Spaniards have traditionally referred to bullfighting as if it were the essence of our national character, something deeply annoying to many of us. And guess what, you have done it yourself in your last tasteless comment -laden with macho arrogance, incidentally- about your female friends from Barcelona and Spanish men -how very weird comming from you! (that last remark was irony in case you have not detected it)… I insist, traditionally bullfighting has been associated with courage and pride. If you fail to see that, I suggest you open your eyes to the world around you a little bit more, or get yourself a pair of non-reality-distorting-not-only-seeing-through-my-tribal-interests spectacles. Again, I’m not saying that is the way things should be, just the way they are.

    As to your comparison between football and bullfighting, sorry mate, but go to someone else with that story, not only because I know its ludicrous but because you know it too. If you were honest with yourself, you would readily admit that you would rather play a thousand matches with the foulest players as rivals than stand for five minutes in front of a wild beast weighing over half a ton that you know very well could easily section your arteries, rip whole muscles off you, disembowel you or crush every bone in your body including your skull and spine. Bullfighters may be plagued with all kinds of imaginable vices, but cowardice is certainly not one of them. And I insist in case I have not made it clear enough, bullfighters are by no means the quintessence of Spanish character in most respects.

    “This post was written tongue in cheek, Sepharad”: It is bad enough talking irresponsibly to your friends in a casual conversation, but it is unforgiveable to spread prejudice on the net, a tool that shapes global opinion.

    “But the actions of Abacus do not reflect well on Spain”: Wrong, non sequitur, the actions of Abacus may not reflect well on Abacus, full stop. Again, revise the rules of logic inference.

    Abacus’ decision was stupid, I admit it. Now you will have to admit that many -immensely more serious- Israeli decisions are too, and that it is inevitable that there be a certain degree of mistrust and animosity among the international community in the face of them. I think the latter reflexion would do you and that country a lot of good.

  • Fuck off, bloody jew. Inquisition should have burnt loads of you, you filthy and smelly son of a bitch. Behind every conflict or tragedy in the world, you will find at the end of the rope a bunch of pathetically looking Jewish jerks. Stop fucking the whole world population and dedicate yourselves to play the violin or the piano. It’s the only way you aren’t poisonous.

  • welcome to the daily show and your moment of zion.

    hi im jew and president of the jewish community in my town of murcia spain.ive read here all and i have to say that this is like the daily show..no facts no numbers.generalizations.each says whatever and you can almost hear the keyboard hits followed by a big HAHA take that!!…spain went left after train bomb cause right ,in charge that day,lied.thats it.. i was here and i know.if right had admitted it was arab terror right would have stayed in power and spain military in the war.
    Few jews here so i think its fair to say spain is not buddy buddy with jews or israel.but id never say they are anti israel anti jew. .saying spain is bull fights is like saying my country israel is lox bagels and shul..we will be right back…..
    you have reminded me here that this blog is not news.its really the daily zion moment.

    ps i was born in netanya raised in netanya and my father is a career military in israel.i came here to organize aliya and stayed this long cause i like it..i like the bull..we eat it here the tail the body all..its good beef.

  • Tranquilo, “torquemada…” You say Jews are detrimental to the world, when it is really people like you who spew hate right and left when you have no idea what you are talking about. I doubt you have even met a jew in your life. You need to stop stereotyping and realize that there are millions of jews in the world and that each one is different. What if I said every Spaniard is a moor? Obviously, there are some spaniards that have some Moorish influence but that is obviously only a tiny percent. Unfortunately, there are SOME Jews who have done bad things, but your everyday Jew would never even fathom doing such a thing. All they care about is their family, getting by, and being left alone by people like you. Many people who share the same view as you simply hate Jews to begin with and lack any justification. As soon as one person in the world who happens to be Jewish does something bad, you attribute it to their “Jewishness.” Grow up, because you will never be a happy person when you have such hateful feelings towards others. I truly pity you.

    PS: Before insulting Jews, I would get a DNA test if I were you, as you could have a Jew ancestor Yourself. I know some spaniards that look almost irish and got a DNA test and found Jewish ancestors.

    Buena suerte con la vida tío, la necesitas.

  • Hey, ck. As a Spaniard, I cant share your opinion about us, although I respect it. But you just said that we are the country of bullfighting. That’s true. We do kill bulls (and if you think that killing a bull with a sword is not brave, it’s because you’ve never seen a bull in your whole life…) But the point here is that you are proud of your American nation, as you think it is more developed than the Spanish one. Well, at least we do kill bulls, but you, the Americans, kill people. What’s up with death penalty? Or with weapons in your country? Well, I see that jews just hate us… that could be the reason why they are not welcome here anymore…

    • Ha ha KC. Sorry man! I actually like most Spaniards. Also I am not American and am opposed to the death penalty and liberal access to guns. Jews don’t hate Spaniards silly! According to recent polls in Spain only 35% had negative opinions about Jews. On my last trip there, people were super nice to me so… Yeah.