3rd Spanish municipality reverses own BDS vote following legal action


(JTA) — The Spanish municipality of Petrer, which is known internationally for hosting mock battles celebrating crusaders, rescinded its support for boycotts against Israel following legal action against the city.

The City Council of Petrer, a city of 95,000 located 200 miles southeast of Madrid, voted Thursday to withdraw its support from a 2016 resolution for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, or BDS, according to a statement Friday by the pro-Israel ACOM group.

ACOM had sued the city to reverse its action and has launched dozens of successful lawsuits in recent months against institutions that adhered to BDS principles, arguing their actions are discriminatory and infringing on the principle of equality, as well as the jurisdiction of local authorities.

Petrer, which hosts the annual Christians and Moors re-creation of eighth century battles between crusaders and Muslims, joined the nearby municipality of Santa Eulalia in distancing itself from previous support for the BDS movement following ACOM’s initiation of legal action. Santa Eulalia’s reversal came in December.

Spanish courts, including constitutional tribunals, in recent months have scrapped approximately 10 BDS resolutions and suspended another three following lawsuits. Only three municipalities have voluntarily reversed their support for BDS, ostensibly to avoid a negative ruling, ACOM wrote in a statement.

The attitude of the Spanish judiciary toward BDS is a recent development in a country where at least 50 municipalities have joined the boycott movement – the highest number in Europe.

Promoting BDS is illegal in France, where doing so is considered a form of incitement. Britain’s government said it was considering similar legislation. Spain has no laws specifically against boycotting other nations, as France does.

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