Another Legal Blow to BDS in Spain; now, in Barcelona
On April 27, 2016, Town Hall of Barbera del Valles, a residential town of 35.836 inhabitants near Barcelona, passed a proposal, in a plenary session, for a BDS campaign.
Town Hall’s agreement included a pledge not to sign any contract or agreement with any Israeli institution, business or organization until Israel recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and complies with International Law. As well, any institution, business and organization in the rest of the world maintaining commercial relations with Israel would be considered as cooperating with or benefiting from a presumed violation of International Law, or of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, and would be affected by the boycott.
Curiously, the statement completely ignored any abuse of Human Rights in other Middle Eastern countries, while insisting that technical procedures of public contracts must be adjusted to exclude the above-named businesses from any sales of goods and service contracts.
City Hall received a seal designating the town “Israel Apartheid-free Space”, to be featured on the town’s web page and in municipal publications. The municipal Council agreed to encourage cooperation with the BDS movement in order to guarantee adequate application of the decision. As is customary, certificates confirming the boycott decision were sent to the Government, Congress, the European Parliament, and, in Madrid, to the Israeli Embassy and the Palestinian Diplomatic Mission.
Weeks later the Court No. Five of Barcelona had issued a cautionary statement ordering City Hall to abstain from adopting the boycott, as it had already identified a possible infraction of the principle of equality before the Law and violations of the right to not be discriminated against for any reason, and a possible disruption of the right of resident foreigners to the same public liberties in Spain as Spanish nationals. This notice also pointed out the existence of discrimination in public contracts.
One year after the boycott decision was passed, the same town has accepted (with the backing of conservative PP, Socialist party and local party PCPB) the statement of Court No. Four of Barcelona, which sent out a notice that the anti-Israel boycott was annulled. The Tribunal considered it to be discriminatory and in violation of the principle of equality before the Law, that a Town Hall would commit to abstain from making agreements or signing contracts with Israeli businesses only because of their national origin.
Barbera del Valles is the eleventh City Hall obliged to cancel a boycott decision as a result of legal action undertaken by ACOM. One should add to these cancellations another 6 towns that have already voluntarily repealed their boycott agreements after our legal actions, and 1 more is suspended pending judgement.
The obvious discriminatory nature of the BDS is once again revealed. The movement’s proposals, based on assumptions and falsehoods, propel entities to commit blatantly illegal actions which clearly contradict the Constitution and weaken our fundamental liberties.
This same BDS movement is being investigated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office on its own initiative through its specialised section on Hate and Discrimination