Catalan city drops boycott after appeal from Spanish anti-BDS group

The motion for the boycott had the support of Catalonian separatists groups, including ERC, PDCAT, CUP and the local branches of the extreme left parties Podemos and IU.

February 24, 2018 20:09
1 minute read.
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The City Council of Montcada i Reixac in metropolitan Barcelona has withdrawn its decision to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, ACOM, an organization that combats BDS in Spain, announced on Friday.

In December, the plenary session of the city council, a town with some 35,000 inhabitants, approved a resolution to join the boycott against Israel.

The boycott motion had the support of Catalan separatists groups, including the Republican Left of Catalonia, the Catalan European Democratic Party, the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) and the local branches of the extreme-left parties Podemos and the United Left. Ciudadanos and the People’s Party, Spanish constitutional parties, all voted against the motion.

As with many previous such decisions in Spain, joining the BDS movement entails that a city council will refrain from any cooperation with Israel, its public bodies and officials in areas including agriculture, education, trade, culture and security. The city council also agrees to support BDS in every campaign for the trade, cultural, sports, academic or institutional boycotts.

In response to the resolution, ACOM presented an administrative appeal against the motion, accusing the town and its citizens of “discriminatory practice.”

On Thursday, the plenary session of the city council announced it would accept the legal action presented by ACOM, thus invalidating its boycott against Israel.

“Despite the threats made in said plenary session against ACOM by the spokesperson of CUP (separatist party), we are pleased to be a source of frustration for the worst radical groups that promote the campaign of discrimination, and that they identify us as their main obstacle to their attempts to break our coexistence and the constitutional order,” ACOM said in a statement.

This win is one of a string of recent successes by ACOM, together with the Lawfare Project, a US-based group, in combating the BDS movement in Spain, which includes 14 boycott agreements annulled by the courts and seven institutions voluntarily withdrawing their declarations.

In December, a court in Gran Canaria, one of Spain’s Canary Islands off the northwestern coast of Africa, issued a ruling declaring that a boycott against Israel passed by a local city council was illegal.

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