anti-Israel protest

Israel backers won its third legal victory against BDS in Spain this month. 

A Spanish court has dealt yet another legal defeat to the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement.

In January 2016, the Town Hall of Sant Quirze de Vallès, a residential town of some 20,000 inhabitants near Barcelona, passed a resolution supporting a BDS campaign and boycotts of Israel.

The Catalan Republican Left presented the motion, together with the backing of other local political parties.

The resolution included a pledge not to sign any contract or agreement with any Israeli institution, business or organization until Israel “recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and complies with international law.” Furthermore, other entities maintaining commercial relations with Israel would be considered as cooperating with or benefiting from a presumed violation of international law or of human rights and would be affected by the boycott.

The boycott declaration specifically targeted the Israeli multinational companies Elbit Systems and Eden Springs, as well as the American Hewlett-Packard and Caterpillar and the British G4S.

“Curiously, the statement completely ignored any abuse of human rights in other Middle Eastern countries,” ACOM, a Spanish non-profit that works to combat BDS in Spain, stated.

The town received the dubious honor to bear the a seal designating it an “Israel Apartheid-free Space,” featured on the town’s web page and in municipal publications.

The municipal Council agreed to encourage cooperation with the BDS movement in order to guarantee adequate application of the decision.

As is customary, certificates confirming the boycott decision were sent to the government, Congress, the European Parliament, and, in Madrid, to the Israeli Embassy and the Palestinian Diplomatic Mission.

Resolution Declared as Discriminatory

In June, a Barcelona court issued a cautionary statement ordering the city hall to abstain from adopting the boycott, saying it had identified a possible infraction of the principle of equality before the law, the violation of the right to not be discriminated against for any reason, and a possible disruption of the right of resident foreigners in Spain to the same public liberties enjoyed by Spanish nationals.

Earlier this month, one year after the boycott decision was passed by the town, the Barcelona court sent out a notice that the anti-Israel boycott was annulled.

The tribunal ruled the resolution to be discriminatory and in violation of the principle of equality before the law when the town committed to abstain from making agreements or signing contracts with Israeli businesses only because of their national origin.

The ruling also specified that the municipal decision to abstain from relations with businesses and institutions that had ties with Israel implied a clear infraction of constitutional principles, which prohibit discrimination and which uphold equality in the eyes of the law.

Sant Quirze is the10th municipality in Spain forced to cancel an anti-Israel boycott decision as a result of legal action undertaken by ACOM. These annulled resolutions join another seven judicial suspensions of similar anti-Israel discriminatory motions.

“The obvious discriminatory nature of the BDS is once again revealed,” ACOM stated. “The movement’s proposals, based on assumptions and falsehoods, propel entities to commit blatantly illegal actions which clearly contradict the Constitution and weaken our fundamental liberties” in Spain.

This is ACOM’s third legal victory against the BDS in Spain the past month. It won similar battles against the councils of Ibiza and Rivas Vaciamadrid.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel

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Source: United with Israel