Pro-Israel activist to be tried for threatening Spanish towns over BDS
search

Pro-Israel activist to be tried for threatening Spanish towns over BDS

Pro-Palestinian group presses charges alleging leader of organization intimidated Spanish municipalities that adopt BDS as policy

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

JTA — A Spanish judge granted an anti-Israel group’s motion to initiate a trial for alleged incitement to hatred and intimidation against the leader of a group that fights boycotts of the Jewish state.

The Committee for Solidarity with the Arab Cause, which receives funding from several municipalities in Spain, filed the criminal lawsuit against Angel Mas of the ACOM group last month, he told JTA. A judge examined the 70-page lawsuit against Mas and ACOM and concluded it merited further judicial review, Mas said.

The lawsuit against Mas and ACOM is the first time that pro-Israel entities are being taken to court in Spain for their activities and marks a departure from the strategy of the local Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, or BDS.

Mas added he was “surprised and disappointed” at the judge’s decision to review what he called “a frivolous attempt to abuse the Spanish judiciary with propaganda.” But he also added that he was confident that he would be found not guilty in any trial.

The incitement charges are based on ACOM’s assertions that BDS, which several Spanish courts have found discriminatory and declared illegal, is anti-Semitic. The intimidation claim is based on ACOM’s strategy of threatening legal action against Spanish municipalities that adopted BDS as their policy.

At least seven municipalities in Spain have scrapped their endorsements of BDS under threat from ACOM alone, the group said. Another 14 have seen tribunals cancel their pro-BDS resolutions and another two had those resolutions suspended by an injunction pending a final court ruling.

“Having suffered crippling losses in court, the BDS movement in Spain is switching methods,” Mas said. “They are targeting individuals in a smear campaign in an attempt to render Spanish Jews and Israel defenseless. This will not succeed.”

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments