Spanish City Scraps Already-passed Israel Boycott Motion, Calling It 'Discriminatory'

Aviles city council nullifies motion after a pro-Israel group initiated a discrimination lawsuit against the municipality in connection with that vote.

Ferrera Park in Aviles, Spain
Wikimedia Commons / JTA Photo Archive

One month after passing a motion supporting a boycott against Israel, the Spanish municipality of Aviles distanced itself from that position and denounced it as discriminatory.

The northern city’s council on Saturday nullified its January motion favoring the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, after a pro-Israel group initiated a discrimination lawsuit against the municipality in connection with that vote, the El Comercio daily reported Monday.

ACOM, which filed the lawsuit, and the municipality’s legal department held settlement talks before the motion was scrapped, according to El Comercio. The pro-Israel group called the reversal a “historic political and legal victory.”

In a statement to the media Sunday, ACOM noted the city agreed to advertise its unfavorable attitude toward BDS, including a statement that “the boycott threatens people’s right not to be discriminated against” as well as academic freedom, and runs counter to Spain’s law on public contracts and EU directives from 2006 on equal opportunities.

In recent months, the BDS movement has hit several hurdles in Spain and Europe.

Earlier this month, Britain’s government announced it would pass laws exposing promoters of a boycott against Israel to prosecution.

In France, which has had such a law since 2003, the country’s highest court of appeals in October confirmed earlier rulings that found promoters of a boycott against Israel guilty of inciting hate or discrimination.