Spanish court scraps municipality’s boycott of Israel, calling it unconstitutional, discriminatory


(JTA) — Pro-Israel activists in Spain obtained a court ruling voiding a municipality’s motion to boycott the Jewish state as unconstitutional.

The 2nd Administrative Court of Castellón de la Plana delivered its ruling earlier this month on the June 2017 resolution to boycott Israel passed by the city council of Benlloch, a village of 1,115 inhabitants in eastern Spain.

The resolution, which passed with the support of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, declared Benlloch an “Israeli apartheid free space” and a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

But the court ruled that this act violated the principles of equality guaranteed in the Spanish constitution.

The motion “compromises Article 14 of the Spanish Constitution by inciting and producing discrimination over circumstances of birth, race, gender, religion, opinion or any other personal or social circumstances,” the ruling read.

ACOM, a Spanish pro-Israel group, sued another three city councils on May 4 over boycott motions they passed in 2016. In recent years ACOM actions have led to the scrapping, annulment or suspension of 24 motions to boycott Israel by Spanish municipalities.

So far, Spanish tribunals, including Spain’s Supreme Court in two of its rulings, have voided a total of 16 boycott motions passed by municipalities. Another seven municipalities voluntarily scrapped their boycott motions under threat of legal action by ACOM. One municipality’s boycott motion was suspended by a court injunction.

Meanwhile, the Committee for Solidarity with the Arab Cause, which receives funding from several municipalities in Spain, has filed a criminal complaint against ACOM for “intimidation.” Prosecutors are reviewing the complaint.

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