3rd Spanish municipality reverses own BDS vote following legal action

Cnaan Liphshiz

(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— The Spanish municipality of Petrer, which is known internationally for hosting mock battles celebrating crusaders, rescinded its support for boycotts against Israel following legal action against the city.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, which was given in a resolution from 2016, for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, or BDS, according to a statement by the pro-Israel ACOM group Friday.

ACOM 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.

With this move, Petrer, which hosts the annual Christians and Moors recreation of 8th century battles between crusaders and Muslims, joined the nearby municipality of Santa Eulalia, which in December also distanced itself from its previous support for the BDS movement following ACOM’s initiation of legal action against that municipality on this issue.

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Whereas 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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