Resolution Declaring Madrid ‘Space Free of Israeli Apartheid’ Fails in City Assembly
A resolution calling for the Spanish capital of Madrid to become a “Space Free of Israeli Apartheid” has been rejected by the city’s assembly, the Spanish Zionist group ACOM announced on Friday.
Introduced by the far-left Podemos party, the measure also urged the city to cooperate with the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
The resolution was opposed by the three remaining parties in the 129-seat assembly, namely the conservative People’s Party — the body’s largest faction — as well as the Socialist Workers’ Party and the Citizens Party.
“All the political forces have united against Podemos in an act of democratic responsibility that we must celebrate,” ACOM said.
The group denounced the proposed measure as “a flagrant gesture of incitement of hatred against Jews,” warning that it aimed to prevent any commercial activity in Madrid with Israeli people or companies — thereby turning the center of Spain’s social, political, and economic life into “a ghetto that excludes the citizens of the Jewish state and every one that supports them.”
“ACOM is worried that if [these types] of initiatives are approved in Madrid other institutions might copy them, spreading this serious affront to human rights,” it added.
Dozens of Spanish city councils and private institutions have endorsed the boycott campaign or declared themselves “Free of Israeli Apartheid” in recent years, a reflection of a concentrated push by BDS activists affiliated with left-wing parties.
Several of these boycotts have faced legal challenges, with the High Court of Justice in the northwest principality of Asturias ruling in June that a boycott resolution passed by the City Council of Castrillón violated constitutional rights. The same court initially issued a judgement against BDS in 2016.
Podemos, the third-largest faction in parliament, has been aggressively advocating for BDS since it first gained access to municipal power after the 2015 Spanish elections, the head of ACOM told The Algemeiner in June.
The young party has also supported what the BDS campaign called a “wave” of anti-Israel municipal resolutions that passed following Hamas-led riots in the Gaza Strip in May.
Formed in 2014 by Pablo Iglesias, a former adviser to late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, the party has been accused of receiving funds from Iran and Venezuela, though Spain’s Supreme Court has rejected opening a criminal investigation into the allegations. Iglesias — who serves as a host of the show “Fort Apache” on HispanTV, a Spanish-language news channel owned and operated by Iran — has denied any wrongdoing.