Valencia's BDS stance 'incites hatred' - deemed illegal, unconstitutional

The 2018 motion promoted by the local fraction of the Podemos far-left party on the City Council of Valencia was passed, declaring a boycott of Israel and Valencia an “Israeli apartheid-free zone.”

People protest against Israel's military action in Gaza during a demonstration in Valencia, July 21, 2014.  (photo credit: REUTERS)
People protest against Israel's military action in Gaza during a demonstration in Valencia, July 21, 2014.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Action and Communication on the Middle East's (ACOM) lawsuit against the Provincial Government of Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, for attempting to mask discrimination based upon nationality or race was backed by the Spanish courts late last week, according to the Spanish pro-Israel group.
Many of the Provincial Government's past proposals have outwardly promoted antisemitic views as well as the boycotts of Israeli products and institutions.
The legislation in question, which was introduced by the spokesperson of the Compromis, the pro-Catalan separatist group, Izquierda Unida-Podemos (Podemos) and the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Party) as an addendum in June 2018 to a previously annulled 2016 proposal establishing that “in this framework it will support the campaigns in defense of the Palestinian people," stating that the province of Valencia is "declared a space free of war crimes" - including apartheid.
The 2018 motion promoted by the local fraction of the Podemos far-left party on the City Council of Valencia was passed, declaring a boycott of Israel and Valencia an “Israeli apartheid-free zone.”
“Today the Provincial Council of Valencia declared itself a free space from Israeli apartheid,” a party spokesman wrote on its official Facebook page at the time.
Two municipalities in Spain rescinded their adhesion to the campaign to boycott Israel following the legal action by ACOM. The city council of Villarrobledo, a city of 25,000 that is located 100 miles southeast of Madrid and is known for its wine industry, scrapped the motion passed in April of 2018 that declared the municipality to be a part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, or BDS.
Israel is the only country to be accused of apartheid in all of the Provincial Government's agreements, which more or less disguises the legislation to target Israel without outright saying it.
A district court in Valencia rejected the 2018 addendum in the recent ruling, classifying it as illegal and in violation of the Spanish Constitution. Declaring that the legislation is an "incitement to hatred and discrimination" - in addition the court questioned the competency of the Provincial Government for proposing such legislation and adopting such stances, according to ACOM.
ACOM, a Spanish pro-Israel group that has initiated dozens of court cases against municipalities and other bodies that support BDS, has achieved the annulment of 62 agreements that promote the BDS movement in Spain, both by judicial ruling and lobbying within institutions.
The entirety of the annulled legislation "violate the common framework of coexistence, turning the institutions into areas closed to Jews" and additionally the "Jewish national state where more than half the Jews in the world live" not taking into account the "Spaniards who sympathize with Israel and are not willing to be forced to denounce or renounce the Jewish state publicly, which be extension involves the members of the Jewish communities in Spain," according to ACOM.
Tribunals in Spain, including the nation’s Supreme Court in two of its rulings, have voided more than a dozen motions passed by municipalities when ruling on motions by ACOM and other groups. Other municipalities voluntarily scrapped their boycott motions under threat of legal action by ACOM.
Despite many victories over the BDS movement in Spain, the country still has more than 50 municipalities supporting BDS, more than in any other EU member nation.
JTA contributed to this report.


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