TEL AVIV – In a major blow to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, this week saw reports emerge that four Spanish municipalities ditched support for boycotts of the Jewish state, while in the U.S., members of the American Anthropological Association rejected a boycott resolution against Israeli academic institutions.
Legal action on the part of pro-Israel advocates in Spain have led to an unprecedented judicial crackdown on BDS at the municipal level, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.
Following court-issued injunctions, three municipalities reversed motions in support of a boycott, ACOM, a Madrid-based pro-Israel group, wrote in a statement last week.
The fourth municipality, Sant Sadurnì d’Anoià, invalidated its own BDS motion following ACOM’s threat to sue.
According to the report, ACOM has promised a court defeat for three other municipalities that passed the anti-Israel motions.
In May, the Ministerio Fiscal, a Spanish advisory judicial authority for equality, made the recommendation to scrap a BDS motion in Gijon after ACOM sued the city for declaring itself a “space free of Israeli apartheid.”
While the Spanish government has repeatedly expressed its opposition to BDS, the country is known for being a hub of anti-Israel activity in Europe.
“Over the last year and a half there was a tectonic movement in Spain as the far Left gained access to public institutions and local government,” Angel Mas, the chairman of ACOM, told the Jerusalem Post.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the American Anthropological Association defeated an academic boycott resolution – but only just.
2,423 members of the association voted to oppose the call to abstain from collaborating with Israeli academic institutions while 2,384 voted in favor.
The AAA noted that 51 percent of eligible members voted, marking the largest turnout in the association’s history.
In a statement, AAA President Alisse Waterston said it was a “difficult vote” and noted that, despite the outcome of the vote, the association would respond to the “serious threats to academic freedom and human rights” that are the result of the Israeli government’s policies.
The measures include issuing a statement of censure of the Israeli government as well as a letter to U.S. government officials underscoring U.S. policies that aid Israel in “disenfranchising the Palestinians.”