Madrid councilor criticized for Twitter Holocaust joke

Manuela Carmena
City councilors vote to elect Manuela Carmena, a 71-year-old retired judge, as Madrid's new mayor in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, June 13, 2015. Spain's biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, have swear in far-left mayors Saturday in one of the nation's biggest political upheavals in years. The new mayors promise to cut their own salaries, halt homeowner evictions and eliminate perks enjoyed by the rich and famous. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

MADRID (AP) — Madrid’s newly appointed leftist culture councilor has come under heavy criticism for posting a joke on Twitter about the Holocaust four years ago.

Guillermo Zapata on Sunday apologized for the tweets, which he said were not intended to be anti-Semitic, but as comments on the cruelty that jokes sometimes can reflect.

He added that the tweets, which he sent while working as a script writer and novelist in 2011, had been taken out of context by political opponents.

Spain’s conservative Popular Party and Socialists called for Zapata to be fired from mayor Manuela Carmena’s city hall government.

Carmena, backed by the radical Podemos party, was sworn in Sunday to lead Madrid’s first left-wing city government in 24 years and relies on coalition support from the Socialists to stay in power.