Madrid’s Reina Sofia museum announced Thursday, May 16, that it was changing the name of a cycle of activities organized in support of the Palestinians and strongly criticized by the Israeli embassy and the Jewish community who considered that it called for “the elimination of Israel. This cycle of activities, including conferences and meetings with Palestinian artists, was called “From the River to the Sea”.

This slogan, chanted in demonstrations in support of the Palestinians, refers to the borders of Palestine under British mandate extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea before the creation of Israel in 1948. It is interpreted by its detractors as a call to the elimination of Israel.

In a press release, the Reina Sofia Museum announced “giving a new name” to this cycle – “Critical Thinking Meetings. International Solidarity with Palestine” – the initial name having been considered “offensive to certain communities”. The Israeli embassy and the Jewish community in Spain denounced last week the name of this cycle of activities calling, according to them, for the “annihilation of Israel”.

The Reina Sofia Museum is one of the most visited in Spain and has the famous Guernica painting by Pablo Picasso in its collection. Spain is one of the EU countries most critical of the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip, carried out in retaliation for the unprecedented Hamas attack on October 7.

The positioning of the government of socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and its calls for recognition of a Palestinian state have caused tensions with Israel, which temporarily recalled its ambassador to Spain in November.