Spanish Israel lobby group deals triple blow to BDS movement in Spain
ACOM has presented lawsuits against every single city council or public institution that has declared a boycott against Israel.
By LIDAR GRAVÉ-LAZIUpdated: AUGUST 4, 2016 00:08
ACOM, an Israel lobby group working to combat BDS in Spain, won legal victories against three municipalities this week.The group claimed its first victory after a court ruling suspended the effects of a local boycott against Israel in the Olesa Municipality on the outskirts of Barcelona.The court acknowledged that local boycott agreements against Israel may be brought before Spanish courts, thereby rebutting points contained in a report being disseminated among city halls, commissioned by the Solidarity Network Against the Occupation of Palestine, an umbrella group of pro-BDS supporters.The judge stated that a local boycott agreement produced legal effects, even if no measures are actually taken and if there is only the potential for such actions.“The sheer existence of a local agreement of this nature implies the possibility of denying participation to any entity or person of Israeli nationality or origin in any contract or activity sponsored by the city council,” the judge stated.A few days later, a Madrid Court suspended boycott agreements against Israel adopted by the Rivas Vaciamadrid City Council.The agreements were incorporated into a motion of adherence to the BDS movement proposed by Izquierda Unida, the Communist Party and the extreme left-wing Podemos, a rising political party.The motion had called to “not establish any political, trading, agricultural, educational, cultural, sporting or security deal, contract or agreement with Israeli institutions, companies or organizations.”The city council had further committed not to establish any ties with organizations “deriving economic benefit from violations of international law and human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory or the Golan.”In addition, a boycott motion against Israel was defeated in a plenary session in La Guardia, a town of 11,000 inhabitants in northern Spain this past week.Once again the proposal for the boycott was proposed by the extreme left-wing party Podemos and BNG, a separatist far-left group.According to ACOM, in the days prior to the voting session, the group contacted local political groups and provided them with factual information on Israel and the goals of the BDS movement.In June, ACOM chairman Angel Mas told The Jerusalem Post that a growing number of cities across Spain have passed declarations in favor of BDS over the past year, as farleft political parties, such as Podemos, have gained access to public institutions and local government.Mas revealed that Podemos had been under scrutiny in the Spanish media after police revealed the party is financed by the Venezuelan and the Iranian regimes.He said this external funding has allowed the Podemos Party to rise to power, gaining control over some 40 localities, including Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, Spain’s three largest cities.“This means access to even more public resources and at that point what we noticed was that the strategy of the BDS campaign changed and stepped up,” he said. “This is something we haven’t seen anywhere else. It is a deliberate and well planned campaign for cities to create an area with ‘Israel Free Apartheid.’” This past week’s victories were in a long line of lawsuits. ACOM has responded aggressively by presenting lawsuits against every single city council or public institution that has declared a boycott against Israel.
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