Spain's most important Jewish event in almost 500 years began in Madrid on Saturday (4 December).
SV INT People seated at table eating
CU PULL BACK TO MV Lord Fisher (in glasses) and others seated at table
SV Delegates seated at table
SV Lord Fisher speaking
SV Senor Phillippe Halioua speaking PAN ALONG delegates (2 shots)
GV Arab demonstration outside hotel in Madrid and being moved on by police (4 shots)
LORD FISHER: "I want first to introduce to you Mr. Halioua, the Chairman of the Jewish community of Madrid. He will give us a special welcome and I know we will all be delighted to hear from his community...new and at the same time, ancient links."
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Background: Spain's most important Jewish event in almost 500 years began in Madrid on Saturday (4 December). It's a gathering of the European branch of the World Jewish Congress which is meeting in Spain for the first time.
SYNOPSIS: Spain's a predominantly Roman Catholic country and all Jews were expelled by Queen Isabella in 1492. Britain's Lord Fisher of Camden opened the meeting.
Senor Halioua and other delegates spent much of the session discussing the plight of the three and a half million Soviet Jews. Some argued in favour of establishing contact with Soviet Jewish leaders, but others argued that the leaders were too closely lined to the government, and that contact with them could harm the cause of the Jewish activists. The congress is being attended by delegates from Rumania and Yugoslavia as well as West european countries. Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Hungary have sent observers, but there none from the Soviet Union.
Possible plans by Spain and Israel to establish diplomatic relations were the subject of a demonstration by Arab students outside the meeting. About 100 students waving Palestinian flags shouted "Zionism is Fascism", but they dispersed quietly at the request of the police. Lord Fisher said he hoped the two countries would establish closer ties and that Spain would not, in future, vote in international forums "against the vital interests of the Jewish state." He said the world Jewry knew and understood Spain's relationship with Arab countries and good Spanish-Jewish relations wouldn't affect this.