Israeli ambassador denounces anti-Semitic float at Spanish carnival

MADRID — Israel’s ambassador to Spain has denounced a carnival parade performance in a small town that featured men and women dressed up like Jewish Holocaust victims and Nazi soldiers.

Rodica Radian-Gordon said in a tweet Wednesday that the performance was “a detestable banalization of the Holocaust,” an “affront to the victims” and “an intolerable manifestation of anti-Semitism.”

The offensive costumes were worn Monday at a Carnival in Campo de Criptana, a central Spanish town of 13,000. Several women wore costumes depicting concentration camp victims carrying Israeli flags and men wearing replicas of the uniforms of SS officers from the German army. They paraded and danced to loud dance music emitted from a float that carried two towers that resembled smokestacks.

Spain’s minister of foreign affairs, Arancha González Laya, also said on Twitter that she was “horrified by the performance.”

After contacting the organizers, she said they have apologized to the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain.

The troupe, known as Asociación Cultural El Chaparral, has apologized and said it won’t be repeating its performance.

Carlos Jiménez, a representative of the group, told Radio Sefarad on Thursday that the intention was to pay “homage to the Jewish people,” but that he “would not choose this subject again.”

The parade was part of yearly Carnival celebrations around Spain. Cultural, civic and school groups often make homemade costumes and devise theme-based routines as part of local festivities.

Earlier this week, a carnival in Belgium faced criticism after stereotypical depictions of Jews for the second year in a row.

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