Spanish Jewish Community celebrates the reestablishment of relations between Barcelona and Tel Aviv

The Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain (FCJE) and the the centenary Jewish community of Barcelona (CIB.CAT) published a statement celebrating the the reestablishment of relations between Barcelona and Tel Aviv:

“We applaud the decision announced by the city council of the Catalan capital to resume its twinning with Tel-Aviv and Gaza. A decree by the mayor, Jaume Collboni, has annulled the suspension of the twinning with Tel-Aviv decided unilaterally and during the election period by the previous mayoress in February of this year 2023.

In this sense, they propose that, in addition to undoing the steps in the wrong direction, Barcelona City Council should take them in the right direction and adopt the definition of antisemitism established by the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance), which is the one used by the European Commission since 2017, and which the Parliament of Catalonia already endorsed on 22 January 2020, as did more than a thousand governments, cities and global entities.

The rupture caused pain in the Jewish world and among many Barcelonians and Catalans in general. Unfortunately, this decree also provoked antisemitic acts in our institutions, without the communities receiving support from either the previous municipal administration or the current government of the Generalitat. We believe that the rift should never have occurred, and we endorse the words of Mayor Collboni, who, during his visit to the century-old synagogue in Barcelona, pledged not to allow “antisemitism to stand in the way of cooperation and friendship”.

When all parties in conflict sit down for dialogue, they can find common ground. That is why the twinning between Tel Aviv, Gaza and Barcelona is a tool for dialogue and a door to start talking, not destroying. The CIB, as a centenary Jewish community of Barcelona, regrets that the previous mayoress never approached this institution, although three letters were sent to her since the twinning was broken, but she did not reply.

From CIB.CAT we propose to Mayor Collboni to continue the movement initiated by his leadership and embrace the path that has always defined Barcelona: a society of progress and vanguard, dialogue and tolerance, which does not tolerate or promote any form of antisemitism or discrimination against minorities. In this way, the city of Barcelona would send a message of clear commitment to the fight against hatred and the promotion of peaceful coexistence between all communities; fostering an inclusive environment in which all people, regardless of their ethnic or religious background, are welcome, live in safety and are respected.”


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