Three Legal Successes of ACOM in Catalonia, Spain, against the BDS Boycott to Israel
Months of legal work by ACOM´s legal team in Catalonia have turned fruitful in a single day: the boycott in the city of Sant Sadurnì was declared null, whilst those in the cities of Sant Adrià and Sant Quirze have been suspended.
On May 31st, Court number 3 of Barcelona —the provincial capital for the three cities— suspended the BDS measures adopted by the City Council of San Adrià, in order to protect basic constitutional rights, as ACOM petitioned. This is the second time a cautionary suspension of this nature has been adopted, after Court number 4 of Oviedo took a similar decision in the legal case ACOM filed against the Council Langreo. The court sentence of that case, published a few days ago, declared those BDS measures discriminatory, anti-Semitic and a breach of Spain´s constitutional liberties, International Law and Human Rights (VINCULO)
On the same day, Court number 4 of Barcelona took a similar interim measure against the boycott declaration of the council of Sant Quirze, arguing that the BDS measures were a threat to the normal economic, cultural and social life of the city.
Also on Tuesday 31st, the City Council of Sant Sadurnì agreed to accept before a Court of Law, ACOM´s legal actions, and declared the BDS measures it had previously approved, null and void. This decision was adopted after the Secretary of the Council issued a report explaining the extensive legal implications of such boycott. The only two political groups that opposed the redress of the illegal BDS declarations were the far left IU and CUP. One of CUP´s councillors interrupted the voting of the new decision proclaiming that the council was giving in to an ‘association of fanatical Zionists’. ACOM certainly regards as a compliment to be identified as the main source of frustration for the groups that sponsor discrimination.
The three legal actions brought to Court by ACOM not only looked to protect Spain´s relationships with the State of Israel, but also our constitutional right not to be discriminated for reasons of race, religion, nationality, or political beliefs. Our actions are also directed to protect the economy of those cities where irresponsible representatives take boycott measures: Sant Sadurnì, for example, is a cluster for producers of the famous Catalan cava sparkling wine, where companies exported to Israel 882.457 bottles in 2015!
The Chairman of ACOM, Angel Mas, said: “The rule of law, represented by Judges, State Attorneys and City Council Secretaries, has become a cornerstone in the fight to resist the BDS boycott that seeks to criminalize the State of Israel and to discriminate anybody associated with it. Quite the opposite to the intentions of the boycott proponents, now legal precedents are being created to associate the BDS movement to illegal anti-Semitic activities that go against International Law and Human Rights”.
ACOM senior lawyer, Ignacio Wenley Palacios, added: "Whilst in a single day the BDS movement has suffered more legal setbacks in Spain than in the whole of Europe since 2005, we must remember that the situation is still dire: only in the North Eastern Spanish region of Catalonia, whose capital is Barcelona, no less than 18 cities have adopted anti-Israel boycotts, and over 789.000 Catalan citizens live under the threat of discriminatory measures that target Israel, and also any individual with the slightest affiliation or sympathy toward this nation. These boycotts have a extraordinary reach and consequence. Judenfrei was preceded by boycotts. Applying the legal reasoning developed for ACOM, we shall pursue the legal actions to end the endorsement of the boycott by public and academic bodies”.
Spain, May 3, 2016