Jewish Journal

Spanish Courts Strike Down BDS Policies In Municipalities

Photo from Good Free Photos.

Spanish courts have stricken down some recent municipal policies targeting Israeli businesses, a blow to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in that country.

According a press release from the Lawfare Project, a court in Oviedo issued a temporary injunction against the Castrillon’s city council for invoking a boycott against Israeli products.

“The Spanish Courts have supported our legal reasoning that boycotts of Israel infringe on Human Rights, violate free speech, and are tantamount to discrimination on account of national origin and personal opinions,” Ignacio Wenley Palacios, Spanish counsel for The Lawfare Project, said in the press release. “The City Council of Castrillón passed this boycott with the notion that it would be impervious to legal challenges. We have proven them wrong.”

Additionally, a Barcelona court struck down the boycott of Israeli products from El Prat de Llobregrat’s city council. In total, Wenley Palacios has been able to obtain 46 writs of injunctions and decisions against the BDS movement in Spain.

“The project to defeat boycott decisions by public bodies is coming out fine,” Wenley Palacios told the Journal in an email. “It is part of a 3-5 year strategy that includes transferring the legal reasoning to other EU countries as the grounds are by design, based both on EU and International Law, and in core constitutional tenets.”

Brooke Goldstein, executive director of The Lawfare Project, said in the press release, “The Lawfare Project stands on the front lines fighting against discrimination targeting Jews and Israelis. We will not rest until as long as any organization attempts to legalize anti-Semitic policies, whether it’s a local government or an international airline company. We will continue to stand up in defense of the freedoms and liberties of every individual and to advance justice for the pro-Israel community.”

The legal system in Spain has not been particularly kind to the BDS movement of late, as back in July Spanish courts overturned motions in the city councils of Teo and Catarroja. Around 50 municipalities in Spain have passed pro-BDS resolutions, but in the past couple of years these resolutions have been undone in 20 such municipalities, either due to the courts or the municipalities repealing them.

There are multiple factors behind Spain suddenly cracking down on BDS, including the country’s financial woes as well as “Spain’s gradual adoption of European standards on hate speech, improved rule of law and the election of a relatively stable centrist government,” according to Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).