Spanish municipalities drop Israel boycott policies

Pro-Israel group ACOM says its legal action resulted in court decision to scrap 2016 resolution calling for Barcelona to subscribe to BDS movement

Graffiti sprayed on a roadblock in the West Bank city of Hebron reads 'Boycott Israel' (AFP Photo/Hazem Bader)
Graffiti sprayed on a roadblock in the West Bank city of Hebron reads 'Boycott Israel' (AFP Photo/Hazem Bader)

Days after a municipality in northern Spain rescinded its call for a boycott of Israel, a judge nullified a similar policy by another municipality in the country’s south.

ACOM, the pro-Israel group that challenged in court the 2016 resolution on Israel by the Cocentaina municipality, reported Tuesday that its legal action resulted in a ruling by the 1st Court of Alicante scrapping the text.

The announcement came two days after the municipality of the town of Montcada i Reixac, near Barcelona, rescinded its own resolution in December to subscribe to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel, or BDS.

Over the past two years, 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. France has laws outlawing BDS. The United Kingdom in 2017 said it was considering similar legislation.

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

But ACOM and other groups have compelled several municipalities in recent years to drop their endorsement of BDS under threat of legal action.

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.

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