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BDS Fail: Spanish Tribunal Bans Anti-Israel Discrimination

TEL AVIV – A Spanish constitutional tribunal recommended annulling a municipality’s motion calling for a boycott against Israel and declaring itself “a space free of Israeli apartheid,” the Times of Israel reported. This week also saw New York’s Nassau County in Long Island unanimously pass a law Monday banning the county from doing business with companies that boycott Israel.

The Ministerio Fiscal, a Spanish advisory judicial authority for equality, made the recommendation after Spanish pro-Israel lobby ACOM sued the city of Gijon over its boycott Israel motion.

Included in the anti-Israel motion was a stipulation that said the city would not pay for the services of firms involved in “human rights violations” in Palestinian territories. The municipality also declared Gijon a BDS-supporting city.

But the Ministerio Fiscal ruled in its nonbinding recommendation that Gijon’s boycott “violates the constitution as well as the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights.”

The tribunal added that the motion “jeopardizes the fundamental right to equality without discrimination on the bases of appearance, ethnicity, and religion.”

Last week, a similar motion was crushed by a majority in Tarragona, a city in eastern Spain – making it the fifth Spanish municipality where BDS motions have failed in recent weeks.

However, in four Spanish municipalities boycott Israel motions have successfully passed.

While the Spanish government has expressed opposition to BDS, the country is known for being a hub of anti-Israel activity in Europe.

In neighboring France, BDS motions are illegal, while in the UK new legislation prohibiting discrimination against Israel is being drawn up. Britain’s ruling party is formulating similar legislation, officials said earlier this year.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Nassau County legislator Howard Kopel, who led the effort to ban the county from doing business with companies engaged in BDS, said the law would place the county on “the right side of history.”

“It is imperative that, as a county, we demonstrate to other governments the importance of fighting against all practices of hatred and discrimination,” Kopel said.

State legislators introduced a similar bill last fall for New York state.

In March, Illinois became the first U.S. state to bar companies from doing business with the state if they boycott Israel.

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