Spanish court rules city council’s BDS agreement illegal

Last year, on November 27, 2016, the City Council passed a resolution proclaiming the city a “free space from Israeli apartheid,” and affiliating the council with the BDS movement.

December 28, 2017 16:43
1 minute read.
Spanish court rules city council’s BDS agreement illegal

Playa del ingles, Gran Canaria . (photo credit: MARCO VERCH / WIKIMEDIA)


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A Spanish court in Gran Canaria issued a decision this week declaring that a boycott against Israel passed by the city council is illegal.

The legal proceedings against the council were filed by Angel Mas, president of ACOM, a pro-Israel Spanish organization that combats BDS in Spain.

Gran Canaria is one of Spain’s Canary Islands, off the northwestern coast of Africa with a population of roughly 850,000. Last year, on November 27, 2016, the city council passed a resolution proclaiming the city a “free space from Israeli apartheid,” affiliating the council with the BDS movement.

As part of the boycott decision, the city council announced it would refrain from any cooperation with Israel, its public bodies and officials in areas including agriculture, education, trade, culture or security. The council also agreed to support BDS in every campaign for the trade, cultural, sports, academic or institutional boycotts.

According to ACOM, the Court No. 4 of Gran Canaria dismissed the argument raised by the town hall that the boycott decision was “just a political statement, insisting that the actions and declarations of the public bodies are subjected to the Rule of Law and are under the legal control of the courts of law.”

The sentence declared that the council of Gran Canaria is “not competent to adopt such a resolution.”

Taking into account that a local council cannot make claims that would affect the foreign policy of Spain, the court further stressed that it could not understand how the resolution would improve or impact on the local community.

“The court underlined that the impugned agreement is discriminatory and is not in accordance with the principle of neutrality and objectivity that must preside the actions of the council,” ACOM said in a statement.

This legal win is one of a string of recent successes by ACOM in combating the BDS movement in Spain, and includes among others, the annulment of 14 boycott agreements by the courts as well as seven institutions voluntarily withdrawing their declarations.

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