The Federation of Spanish Jewish Communities (FCJE), tEJC’s affiliate in Spain, has penned an open letter to the mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau sharing their concern over a campaign to boycott the twinning of the Catalan capital with Tel Aviv.
” Your Excellency, Mayoress of Barcelona City Council
On behalf of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain (FCJE), an institution that officially represents the Jewish Communities of the whole of Spain, I am writing to you with great concern, as I am aware of the “boycott” campaign against the twinning of the city of Barcelona and Tel Aviv and to break off relations with Israel. All this, under the alarming slogan “Barcelona with the apartheid NO”.
All the Jewish Communities are concerned about how the members of our Community in Barcelona, all of them Barcelonians by origin or adoption and regardless of their political affiliation, are experiencing this campaign of rupture.
Barcelona and Tel Aviv are open and welcoming societies.
They are leading cities, recognised in many areas such as the organisation of high-tech congresses.
They are cities that attract investment, start-ups and tourism.
They are discoverers of art and culture, defenders of LGBT rights and welcoming ports for all.
The people of Barcelona and Tel Aviv have always welcomed everyone equally and would not tolerate any kind of boycott.
From our Communities and entities, we proudly promote and know our Barcelona as one of the favourite destinations for the twinned citizens of Tel Aviv, as well as for hundreds of thousands of tourists arriving from the other side of the Mediterranean.
I fail to understand how they will disembark in the city when they are not welcome.
We therefore call on all politicians in the Barcelona City Council, like their predecessors, to allow Barcelona to continue to build bridges of harmony, sensitive to all minorities, and to avoid promoting discourses of rejection and isolation.
It is a source of pride for all of us to be able to walk along the Ramblas and hear in Hebrew, how every day more and more businessmen, professionals and tourists admire us and come to invest here, live with us or simply visit us.
It is a source of pride for all of us to be able to land at Tel Aviv airport and be greeted in several languages with a cordial message of “Bienvenidos”, “Benvingut”, and “Ongi etorri”.
It is a sign of respect and union between respectful and modern societies that we must defend.
Barcelona is a Land of Welcome.
Isaac Benzaquén Pinto
Federación de Comunidades Judías de España”