As an influential group in Spain, ACOM has been fighting antisemitism and promoting relations between Spain and Israel for years. Now we are launching a campaign to raise awareness about Barcelona, with the city elections in sight, because Catalonia, and especially its capital, has become a hub of hostility against Israel, with an alarming increase of antisemitic crimes. The main reason for this surge is the collusion of the main Catalonian parties (and their municipal groups in Barcelona) who went from taking action to complete and utter silence. The most recent example was when the city canceled their twin city agreement between Barcelona and Tel Aviv, a decision made by Colau. Before that, the discrimination against Jews was financed by local institutions that crimialized Israel and glorified terrorism that lead to Jews being killed in their state and around the world, etc.
Our campaign is not based on political preferences, but on facts which can be seen in the voting records of the different parties over the last several years. ACOM does not ask for votes for anybody; we simply condemn certain candidacies’ attempts to whitewash voters, both from the general public as well as those from the Jewish community. We intend to show the difference between what is being said and the reality. We try to show what the candidates want to hide: which is that today, Barcelona is a hostile city for Jews.
Most well-known politicians have a similar attitude. Despite their sudden attempts to reach out to the Jewish communities, the four main candidates for mayor of Barcelona have a long history of silence, if not collusion. Their actions and discriminatory statements have turned Barcelona into a sad model of European antisemitism with institutional support, creating a breeding ground for the proliferation of attacks against local Jewish communities.
Finally, we condemn that this awareness campaign has been subjected to censorship. We planned to put up posters in train stations in Barcelona, which required authorization from the local Catalonian government. It is a sad mix of authoritarianism and paternalism. We were not allowed to put up posters unelss we changed their content. We will not do that.