Spanish city votes to boycott Israel in defiance of court rulings
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Spanish city votes to boycott Israel in defiance of court rulings

Valencia-area municipality officially joins BDS campaign, doubles down on status as ‘Israeli apartheid-free space’ despite high court ruling another city’s move is unconstitutional

FILE -- A crowd protests against the Israel during a demonstration by an estimated 10,000 people in Madrid, Spain, Monday April 15, 2002 (AP Photo/Denis Doyle)
FILE -- A crowd protests against the Israel during a demonstration by an estimated 10,000 people in Madrid, Spain, Monday April 15, 2002 (AP Photo/Denis Doyle)

Defying multiple rulings in Spain that declared boycotting Israel illegal, the municipality of a city near Valencia Tuesday declared itself an “Israeli apartheid-free space.”

The City Council of Sagunto, a city of 64,000 inhabitants, passed a motion declaring itself part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, the ACOM pro-Israel group in Madrid said in a statement Thursday. ACOM said it was preparing legal action.

Separately, the High Court of Justice in Asturias, in Spain’s north, ruled last week that another city council’s policy of boycotting Israel was unconstitutional. The City Council of Castrillon passed a motion in August effectively boycotting Israel, Israeli businesses and companies doing business with Israel. A regional court suspended the motion and the High Court scrapped it, declaring it discriminatory, the Lawfare Project organization said.

Some 50 Spanish municipalities have passed resolutions in recent years endorsing BDS — more than in any other European country.

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

The Lawfare Project and ACOM have fought dozens of boycott votes against Israel in court and in talks with relevant institutions. The pro-Israel activists have obtained dozens of rulings, including by supreme courts, as well as legal opinions and injunctions against BDS in Spain, whose judicial policy in recent years is that BDS is a form of discrimination.

Last week, a motion promoted by factions of the far-left Podemos party on the City Council of Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city and a major eastern port city, was passed declaring a boycott of Israel and Valencia an “Israeli apartheid-free zone.”

In May, the state of Navarre officially joined the BDS movement, and called on the Spanish government to “suspend its ties with Israel “until that country ceases its policy of criminal repression of the Palestinian population.”

Tribunals in Spain, including the nation’s Supreme Court in three of its rulings, have voided a total of 17 boycott motions passed by municipalities. Another seven municipalities voluntarily scrapped their boycott motions under threat of legal action by ACOM.

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