Spanish city passes, then scraps Israel boycott motion

Aviles distances itself from earlier decision, after pro-Israel group files discrimination complaint

One month after passing a motion supporting a boycott against Israel, the Spanish municipality of Aviles distanced itself from that position and denounced it as discriminatory.

The northern city’s council on Saturday nullified its January motion favoring the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, after a pro-Israel group initiated a discrimination lawsuit against the municipality in connection with that vote, the El Comercio daily reported Monday.

ACOM, which filed the lawsuit, and the municipality’s legal department held settlement talks before the motion was scrapped, according to El Comercio. The pro-Israel group called the reversal a “historic political and legal victory.”

In a statement to the media Sunday, ACOM noted the city agreed to advertise its unfavorable attitude toward BDS, including a statement that “the boycott threatens people’s right not to be discriminated against” as well as academic freedom, and runs counter to Spain’s law on public contracts and EU directives from 2006 on equal opportunities.

In recent months, the BDS movement has hit several obstacles in Spain and Europe.

Ferrera Park in Aviles, Spain (Wikimedia Commons via JTA)
Ferrera Park in Aviles, Spain (Wikimedia Commons via JTA)

Earlier this month, Britain’s government announced it would pass laws exposing promoters of a boycott against Israel to prosecution.

In France, which has had such a law since 2003, the country’s highest court of appeals in October confirmed earlier rulings that found promoters of a boycott against Israel guilty of inciting hate or discrimination.

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