Pro-Israel Event in Madrid Disrupted by Violent BDS Activists
A pro-Israel event in Spain on Tuesday was disrupted by BDS activists, who attempted to physically attack the participants.
The Israeli news site Mako reported that the assault took place in Madrid, where a delegation including both Arabs and Jews opposed to a decision to label products made in West Bank settlements was taking part in a gathering organized by the Spanish pro-Israel group ACOM.
The event was quickly disrupted by BDS activists, who raised PLO flags and assaulted the panelists verbally and physically. They shouted obscenities and called one of the participants, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, a “war criminal.”
They also claimed that the Arab panelists were “traitors who serve the State of Israel for money.” At least one of the panelists was driven offstage as a result.
In response, Dagan shouted back at the attackers, “We are not afraid of you. The antisemitism of BDS will not prevail. You hate Jews.”
Due to concerns for the panelists’ safety, police eventually evacuated them. Police were to accompany them on a later visit to a Madrid university.
“Dozens of hate-filled people wanted to hurt us out of pure antisemitism,” Dagan told Mako. “This is the best testimony to their true face. They do not work for the Arabs, nor for human rights. They are servants of hatred whose sole purpose is to destroy the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”
Without police involvement, he added, the situation “could have ended in a completely different way.”
In a statement, ACOM said, “We regret and condemn the incidents occurred, completely alien to the spirit that should move an event that precisely invokes dialogue, harmony and peace between Palestinians and Israelis. It is absolutely intolerable that in a democratic society as ours, by definition open to the free exposition of ideas and opinions, the fanatics intend to silence with shouts and pushes those who dissent from their exclusivism and impose their vetoes and discriminatory boycotts.”
“From ACOM we want to manifest that, faced with the intolerant that succumb time and time again in the courts after our legal actions, we will not give up an inch of liberty,” the statement continued. “The fanatic antisemites who target Jews and their state, and who annihilate the future of the Palestinians, not only will have our response in the courts of justice: they will also have us in the public sphere. They are not going to rob our speech.”