Spanish tribunal rules: BDS anti-constitutional, discriminatory

The Public Prosecution Service has issued a report in the case brought before Administrative Law Court Number 1 of Gijón recommending the legal invalidation of four points of the resolution adopted on January 13th, 2016, by the city council of Gijón. In these points, Gijón is declared free of an alleged “Israeli apartheid” and the city council undertakes to introduce legal measures to prevent public procurement and to not enter into agreements with companies that allegedly violate international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In addition, they also pledge that the city will cooperate with the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Movement against Israel.

The report invokes the constitutional rights of equality before the law and non-discrimination, as well as the ban on arbitrariness in the exercise of public functions, reminding us that no one may be interrogated regarding his or her ideology, religion or beliefs, and asserts that the objectives of this boycott against Israel violate both the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights, the scope of which is extensible to foreigners.

The public prosecutor maintains that almost all of the points of the disputed boycott agreement “directly apply to the adoption by the local administration of certain measures of diverse nature whose materialization would necessarily imply an infringement of the fundamental rights of equality and non-discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion, or convictions expressly proscribed by our Constitution as well as by international treaties”, also affirming that “we can easily infer that they resolve to adopt concrete and realizable measures in a number fields of action of the local administration, such as public procurement, commercial action, or cultural activity”.

The report also rejects the claim that said points of the agreement are merely a political declaration with no material impact. On the contrary, the nature and scope of the contested agreement, as per the public prosecutor, go beyond a mere institutional declaration insomuch as they imply promoting the adoption of certain measures that transcend the enforceability of the local administration’s actions.

The boycott agreement is currently being appealed for infringement of fundamental rights and public liberties by Ángel Más, president of ACOM, with the support of local business associations and the small but assertive Jewish community of Asturias.

The city council has not only addressed all of the public enterprises (Divertia Gijón, Science and Technological Park of Gijón, Municipal Company of Urban Environmental Services of Gijón, and Municipal Water Company of Gijón) in reference to this matter, but has also informed the Committee for the Solidarity of the Arab Cause, while its mayor, Ms. Carmen Moriyón Entrialgo, has publicly reiterated her commitment to maintain the boycott against Israel.

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