A supporter wears a T-shirt reading 'Boycott Israel'.
(photo credit: AFP/ MOHD RASFAN)
A Spanish court has suspended a city council’s anti-Israel boycott, according to an announcement issued by nonprofit organization The Lawfare Project on Tuesday.
Last week, a district court in Seville, southern Spain, issued a writ of interim injunction against the City Council of La Roda de Andalucia, halting its boycott of Israeli products as well as its decision to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.
The decision was hailed by The Lawfare Project in Spain, which initiated legal proceedings against the city council, as a “serious loss” for the BDS movement, and stated that it paves the way for further legal action against the enforcement of BDS policies.
The Lawfare Project is a US-based think tank and litigation fund that strives to protect the civil and human rights of pro-Israel and Jewish communities around the world.
The La Roda City Council announced its participation in BDS in August 2014, and has since been enforcing it by inspecting machine-readable barcodes from every item purchased in public tenders, and returning any product found to be Israeli-made.
La Roda Mayor Fidel Romero is a visible proponent of the boycott, and in 2014 said his town hall was likely the first in Spain to implement the boycott as an institution, and encouraged others to follow suit.
In January 2016, he appeared at the BDS Forum held in San Sebastian, where BDS leader Omar Barghouti and Riya Hassan, Europe campaigns officer of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, introduced the boycott strategy for Spain.
“The strategy of targeting individuals and companies who hold freedoms and rights in order to garner a political ‘win’ failed to impress the Court,” said The Lawfare Project’s Spanish counsel, Ignacio Wenley Palacios, who has secured over 40 writs of injunction and decisions against the Spanish boycott campaign.
“That groups target Israelis, and ultimately Jews, in the name of spurious arguments on collective rights, with discrimination and blatant breaches of the principle of equality under the law, should concern all of us, Jews and non-Jews alike. This decision shows that we must stand up in defense of the freedoms and liberties of every individual,” he continued.
“It is individuals that ought to be protected against the abuses of radical politics, while Mayor Romero should be relieved from his post for clear breaches of the nondiscrimination policies that rule government bodies,” he added.