On July 29 the plenary session of the City Council of Santa Eulalia —the third city in number inhabitants in the island of Ibiza, and home of the most exclusive villas—, passed a decision that engaged the city in the boycott campaign against Israel. Though the full details of the decision has not been disclosed as the City Council has not yet acknowledged the petitions filed by ACOM to release the public records, the first official statements from the Mayor’s office that assured that the decision was merely an endorsement of Human Rights in the Middle East, have been proved deceptive.
Last wednesday, the spokesman of the City Council revealed to a local news outlet that a section of the decision involves ‘joining the international campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the state of Israel, abstaining from fostering any economic, institutional, academic and cultural cooperation with Israel until UN resolutions and International Law are not met, and the occupation of the occupied Palestinian territories ended’.
This decision was promoted by Guanyem, the local franchise of the Podemos party (communist) in the city, and passed with the votes of the Socialist Party, and the Popular Party (centre-conservative), including the vote of the mayor, Vicent Marí, who enjoying an absolute majority in the city council acts as if a hostage to the radical policies of the communist city councillors of Santa Eulalia.
The decision stirred both surprise and indignation, and has been published in international media. ACOM, a civil rights charity that fights discrimination while fostering relations with Israel, is determined that boycotts with their inevitable result of discrimination do not go unanswered. To advocate goals that equal to the destruction of the state of Israel while limiting civil and economic rights of citizens, businesses, and friends of Israel not because of their particular conduct but on the basis of who they are, where they are from, and where their sympathies lie is blatant breach of constitutional rights and freedoms.
Today ACOM has brought legal action before the Courts of Palma de Mallorca to redress this wrong. Israel and freedom are under siege in Spain, subjected to a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same objective: international ostracism, and the exclusion of free speech from political discourse, evincing a design to reduce Israel to absolute isolation, slandered and defamed for defending its citizens. That is why ACOM has sought legal remedy by filing legal actions against 60 boycott decisions passed by Spanish cities. We shall not dwell on the libels and deceits spread in the preliminary recitals of the city decision. Suffice it to say that Israel is often a haven of freedom for every minority in the Middle East, and a home for the most hounded of them.
Perhaps most of the councillors of Santa Eulalia were misled, and fell for what they believed to be a remedy adorned with the usual deplorably faux constructions that the boycott campaign pretends to pass as Human Rights and International Law, for an intricate international conflict. Perhaps the City Council will withdraw the motion, disavowing the boycott campaign that now is an official policy in Ibiza. Whatever the answer, we believe that the rule of law is the best safeguard for citizens against the abuse of office. To the irate public statements of the Communist Party in the island that “implore their major not to succumb to Zionist threats”, our answer is that only those who dwell on unlawfulness can regard the rule of law as a threat.
Santa Eulalia has been a traditionally open, welcoming and tolerant city that shares with Ibiza and the other Balearics Islands, Jewish roots that go back more than a thousand years. Mistreatment and discrimination go not only against the Law, they go head-on against the spirit of Ibiza, and its own history.