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Anti-Israel BDS

Another victory against BDS activists: A Spanish court has deemed a pro-boycott resolution as discriminatory and illegal. 

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

In May 2016, the City Council of Rivas Vaciamadrid, a town of some 80,000 inhabitants and a hotbed of Communist support in Madrid, passed a decision prohibiting the city council from signing any political, commercial, agricultural, educational, cultural, sporting or security agreement or contract with Israeli institutions, companies and organizations, nor with bodies, companies and organizations that are involved, collaborate or in any way capitalize on the alleged violation of international law and human rights in the Palestinian-administered territories or in the Golan Heights.

The City Council was granted the BDS-approved seal that distinguished the city as a “Free Space of Israeli Apartheid” on condition that it be displayed on the city’s website and in its publications and that it commit to disseminating the boycott campaign among residents and local businesses.

The City Council also agreed to engage and promote cooperation with the BDS movement in order to ensure the “proper implementation” of the boycott decision.

The Council spokesman and deputy mayor announced that he was “ready and excited to defend human rights in court against the Zionists.”

ACOM, a Spanish non-profit that works to combat BDS and has succeeded in several court cases against the movement, took legal action against the vote.

In July, a court in Madrid issued an interlocutory writ of injunction ordering the City Council to restrain from carrying out the boycott provisions as their application would veto organizations, businesses and bodies of a particular country based solely on the opinion of the members of the City Council members.

Last Tuesday, the court fully nullified the Council’s boycott decision.

In its ruling, not only did the court say that City Council lacked powers to pass any resolution interfering with the government foreign affairs, but it also deemed every section of the Council decision as discriminatory and without substance in the field of international law, explicitly stating that resolutions endorsed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) did not provide any legal foundation to boycott Israeli institutions, companies or organizations.

“BDS, an obviously anti-Semitic movement, not only finds a firm response in our judicial system and our constitutional framework (with courts that legally deal blow after blow to its strategy of thuggery and violence). But also the Spanish civil society and a growing sensitivity in the representatives of the citizens are putting a stop to these Judeophobic outbursts,” the pro-Israel advocacy group stated earlier this month, after winning a similar battle against the city council of Ibiza.

The BDS movement promotes financial, academic and cultural boycotts against Israel, ostensibly as a nonviolent struggle against the so-called “Israeli occupation.” Critics say its activities are a modern form of anti-Semitism and that its true objective is to destroy the State of Israel.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel