Lawmakers in Spain’s Catalonia region accuse Israel of ‘apartheid’

Pro-Palestinian media hails ‘historic’ vote; no mention of boycotting Israel, which has been deemed illegal by several Spanish courts; centrist lawmakers reject resolution

A BDS protest against Israel in Barcelona, Spain, June 2014. (YouTube screenshot)
A BDS protest against Israel in Barcelona, Spain, June 2014. (YouTube screenshot)

JTA — The foreign affairs committee of the parliament of Catalonia, Spain’s second-most populous region, accused Israel of committing “apartheid.”

Thursday’s vote in Barcelona adopted a draft resolution submitted months ago by far-left politicians. About half of the 30 lawmakers who sit on the committee voted in favor of the draft resolution. Several others voted against and the rest abstained, resulting in the resolution’s passage.

Political parties are represented in the committee according to their electoral size, meaning the vote could reflect the position of the majority of the 135 lawmakers serving in the Parliament of Catalonia. The issue has not been brought to a plenum vote.

Pro-Palestinian media reported on the vote as a historic first in the European Union.

In 2012, the French parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee published a report accusing Israel of implementing “apartheid” policies in the West Bank.

Thursday’s resolution did not mention boycotting Israel, which several Spanish courts have ruled is illegal, but does say that “the system applied by Israel to the Occupied Territories is contrary to international law and is equivalent to the crime of apartheid as defined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”

ACOM, a pro-Israel group in Spain, called the vote “an ignominy that accuses of apartheid a nation characterized by a pluralistic and diverse society.”

Together for Catalonia, a centrist coalition party whose members voted against the resolution, wrote on Twitter that the party rejects the apartheid terminology.

“The apartheid term neither reflects the situation on the ground nor facilitates the solution. We want a two-state solution, fair, peaceful, in dialogue and that complies with international law,” a party spokesperson wrote.

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