Spanish city scraps BDS motion, denounces boycott as discriminatory

By JTA
February 22, 2016 16:54

"The boycott threatens people’s right not to be discriminated against” and threatens academic freedom, and runs counter to Spain’s law on public contracts.

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Des militants du BDS en action

Des militants du BDS en action. (photo credit:REUTERS)

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, known as BDS, against Israel after a pro-Israel group initiated a discrimination lawsuit against the municipality in connection with that vote, the El Comercio daily reported Monday.

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According to the pro-Israel ACOM group which filed the lawsuit, the reversal is the first of its kind and a “historic political and legal victory.” The scrapping of the motion supporting the BDS movement came following settlement talks between ACOM and the municipality’s legal department, according to El Comercio.

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

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

Earlier this month Britain’s government announced it would pass laws that would expose 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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