Spanish court declares local boycott of Israel illegal

After a year-long legal battle, a Spanish court in Santiago de Compostela issued a decision declaring that a boycott against Israel passed by the city council is illegal.

The legal proceedings against the council were filed by Angel Mas, president of ACOM, a pro-Israel Spanish organisation that combats the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement in Spain.

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the north-western Spanish autonomous region of Galicia. In November 2015, the council passed a resolution proclaiming the city a “free space from Israeli apartheid,” and affiliating the council with the BDS movement.

As part of the boycott decision, the council announced it would refrain from any cooperation with Israel, its public bodies and officials in areas including agriculture, education, trade, culture or security. It also agreed to support the BDS movement in every campaign for trade, cultural, sports, academic or institutional boycotts.

According to ACOM, the court of Santiago de Compostela dismissed the argument raised by the town hall that the boycott decision was “nothing but a political statement, stressing that the actions and declarations of public bodies are subjected to the rule of law, meriting judicial review.”

Furthermore, the judgment stated that the council lacks the “competence for the adoption of such a resolution,” as it exceeds the powers granted to the city council to deal with local problems.

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