Friday, 2 Dec 2022 - 8 of Kislev, 5783

Double victory against BDS for pro-Israel advocacy group in Spain

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The first victory by Action and Communication on the Middle East (ACOM) was obtained on Tuesday when the Spanish Parliament adopted a bill by the regional Madrid Assembly which passed legislation precluding any possible grant or public aid to entities that promote anti-Semitism as defined by the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism.

“We are delighted with the decision by the Spanish Parliament to take a strong stand against BDS and declare its activities as anti-Semitic,” said Angel Mas, President of ACOM.

 

The main pro-Israel advocacy group in Spain has helped achieve two victories against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel in recent days.

The first victory by Action and Communication on the Middle East (ACOM) was obtained on Tuesday when the Spanish Parliament adopted a bill by the regional Madrid Assembly which passed legislation precluding any possible grant or public aid to entities that promote anti-Semitism as defined by the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism.

This proposal would effectively exclude public financing of any BDS group or activity in Spain, a nation where the BDS Movement is working very strongly. Up until now, organizations associated with the BDS Movement have received millions of Euros in grants by government or government-affiliated NGOs.

The second, on Monday, saw Spain’s Supreme Court for the first time upholding a lower court’s decision that BDS is discriminatory and thus illegal for public institutions to support such organizations or events associated with it.

This case was brought by ACOM against the BDS-supporting association Interpueblos. ACOM has previously won 85 decisions in municipal and regional courts against BDS that tried to exclude Israel or pro-Israel entities across Spain, but this is the first time one of these decisions was upheld by Spain’s highest court.

“We are delighted with the decision by the Spanish Parliament to take a strong stand against BDS and declare its activities as anti-Semitic,” said Angel Mas, President of ACOM.

He added, “Moreover, together with the Supreme Court decision, a strong message has been delivered that BDS is discriminatory and anti-Semitic. I am not sure there has been a more forceful legislative and judicial pushback against BDS anywhere in the world where this anti-Semitic movement exists.”

The Spanish Parliament’s bill is also a result of the call by the European Union, which recommended that every member state adopt and apply the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism. The objective of the bill is to change current legislation so entities that carry out discriminatory practices based on birth, race, sex, religion or nationality, with special attention towards Antisemitism, cannot receive public grants, contracts, or subsidies.

“These recent decisions in both the Spanish Parliament and Supreme Court have dealt a big blow to the BDS Movement in Spain and sent a loud message to Spanish citizens that this movement is discriminatory, anti-Semitic and beyond the pale of discourse,” said Founder and President of the Fundacion HispanoJudia (The Hispanic Jewish Foundation) David Hatchwell Altaras.

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