For the first time a city council has accepted a discrimination lawsuit prompted by two agreements to boycott Israel. Due to the efforts of ACOM the municipality of Aviles –a town in Asturias with a population of 83,500- agreed for two recent resolutions that endorse the BDS campaign to be void. In a landmark political, and legal victory the plenary session of the Aviles City Council followed the advice of its legal services that stressed the violation of constitutional freedoms that these anti-Semitic statements imply.
On January 21, 2016 the City Council of Aviles joined the BDS movement. Behind this initiative lies an ill-concealed Judeophobic agenda that seeks the disappearance of the State of Israel. The movement, with strong ties to the political parties Izquierda Unida –a coalition led by the Communist Party-, and PODEMOS, has tried so far to act with impunity introducing its campaign into municipalities. This has led to the assumption of inappropriate powers by several cities, and to the subsequent introduction of a present and clear danger of anti-Semitic discrimination; therefore blackening the name of those ill-advised cities. Reason and Law have worked together to put an end to this.
ACOM is dealing with these attacks on civil liberties by appealing to the good sense of those democratic political groups that believe in the rule of law, and reject totalitarian and illegal efforts to demonize the Jewish state, the only democratic nation that warrants rights and civil liberties in the Middle East.
After submitting an administrative appeal against two statements of the City Council of Aviles endorsing the boycott campaign that were passed at a plenary session in January 2016, the Council of Aviles has accepted in full the grounds of ACOMꞌs claim as the boycott is in clear breach of civil liberties. But not only that: The council’s legal service has warned that the boycott campaign of BDS incurs in a long list of illegalities, including:
– The boycott threatens the right of individuals not to be discriminated, academic freedom, freedom of expression, and the right not to reveal religion, race, national origin, and personal opinions.
– The boycott violates the Public Contracts Act, and European Directives on equal treatment.
– The City incurs in a certain criminal risk for inciting hatred, discrimination or violence against those affected by the boycott, which extends not only to Israel, but to any Spanish, Jewish or non-Jewish person who fails to declare their adherence to the political objectives of the BDS campaign when challenged to do so.
The City Council in a new plenary session held last Saturday, February 20, has agreed to submit to the incumbent court its full acceptance to the terms of the claim brought by ACOM, therefore agreeing with the judicial annulment of the two agreements adopted on January 21. These agreements sought to impose the boycott of Israel, and to join the BDS campaign, and now are to be declared void and without effect by a Court judgment. The legal service of the city council has also identified a risk that by joining the BDS campaign to boycott Israel, the council might be held accountable for encouraging, promoting or inciting hatred, discrimination or violence against those affected by the boycott, which extends not only to Israel, but to any Spanish, Jewish or non-Jewish person who fails to voice an explicit support to the political objectives of the BDS campaign.
ACOM acknowledges the dignity of the City of Aviles, at overturning with determination an unfortunate, and ill-advised decision to join the boycott campaign against Israel, as soon as its consequences in terms of civil liberties became apparent. The full acceptance of the demand was passed with the votes in favour of PSOE, PP and Ciudadanos, and the votes against from the parties PODEMOS and IU.
“BDS does not seek to end any occupation, nor does it advocate a two-state solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict. It looks forward to the disappearance of the only Jewish state, therefore denying to Jews, and to only Jews, the right to their country nearly 70 years after the UN recognized Israel. Its aims are discriminatory and its ways are gangster-like. The rectification made by the City of Aviles, achieved through the courts of Law, prevents BDS from operating unimpeded and blackmailing Democracy“.- Angel Mas, President of ACOM – Action and Communication on the Middle East.