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July 2, 2018 11:28 am

Spanish High Court Rules Anti-Israel Boycott by City Council is Unconstitutional

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City Hall in Oviedo, Spain. Photo: – The High Court of Justice in Spain’s Asturias province ruled that a city council’s policy of boycotting Israel was unconstitutional.

Last year, the City Council of Castrillon in northern Spain passed a motion effectively boycotting Israel, Israeli businesses and companies during business with Israel.

According to the Lawfare Project, which challenged the city council’s motion, court said that this policy of boycotting Israel was in breach of constitutional civil rights and freedoms of nondiscrimination and equality before the law.

Since the beginning of March, legal action by the Lawfare Project has resulted in seven other courts across Spain annulling or suspending anti-Israel boycotts in the cities of Castrillon, Telde, Montcada, La Roda, Barbate, Artes and Viloria.

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However, the attempts to boycott Israel have continued in Spain in recent weeks. Earlier in June, the city of Oviedo, the capital of Spain’s Asturias region, canceled an upcoming concert by Israel’s NK Orchestra and a ballet performance due to political reasons.

Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, also approved a motion to boycott Israeli citizens and companies. The resolution calls for the city to formally adhere to the BDS movement and declare it is “free of Israeli apartheid.”

Lawfare Project’s Spanish Counsel Ignacio Wenley Palacios, who has led 58 victories against the BDS campaigns in Spain, said that “after our string of court victories, the boycott campaign doesn’t dare use its name in Spain, but hides behind motions passed in city, provincial and regional councils that use loaded, discriminatory language. Or they run new sub-campaigns, such as the ‘Space Free of Israeli Apartheid,’ or petitions for an arms embargo of Israel.”

“In due course, these, too, will be rejected by the courts, which uphold solid legal traditions of fair play, individual freedoms, and strict accountability of government offices,” he said.

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