52 Counter-BDS Victories! Court of Las Palmas annuls boycott decision of City Council of Telde, Gran Canary

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TELDE, CANARY ISLANDS—In an ongoing initiative to eliminate BDS (the discriminatory Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign targeting Israel) from Spain, The Lawfare Project’s Spanish Counsel, Ignacio Wenley Palacios, has secured his 52nd legal victory.

Earlier this month, a court in Las Palmas nullified the boycott decision of the City Council of Telde, an Atlantic town of 102,164 inhabitants in the east of the island of Gran Canary.

The Las Palmas decision closely preceded two other victories against the boycott campaign: a successful suit concerning the second boycott decision passed by the City Council of Castrillón (Asturias), and a judgment issued today against the boycott of the City Council of Montcada i Reixac (Barcelona).

On November 27, 2015, the City Council of Telde passed a decision committing itself to refrain from signing any political, institutional, commercial, agricultural, educational, cultural, sporting, or security agreement, contract, or covenant with Israeli public bodies, companies and organizations.

According to the Council’s declaration, targeted Israeli entities could be exempted from the boycott if they formally expressed their recognition of the “inalienable rights of the Palestinians” by agreeing and supporting the campaign’s three objectives: (1) the end of the “occupation” and “colonization” of the disputed territories; (2) the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination; and (3) the right of return of Palestinians and Palestinian refugees.

As in other cities in Spain, the City Council was granted the BDS-approved seal that distinguished the town as a “Free Space of Israeli Apartheid”, under the condition of the seal to be displayed in the city’s website and in its publications. In return the City Council agreed to publicize the boycott campaign among residents and local businesses.

Further, the City Council agreed to engage in and promote an active policy of cooperation with the BDS movement in order to ensure the proper implementation of the boycott decision.

On March 9, 2018, the Court number 6 of Las Palmas published a decision that annulled the boycott. The Magistrate accepted The Lawfare Project’s legal reasoning, which stressed that, even in the absence of its enforcement, the boycott entails the infringement of the constitutional principle of equality before the law.

Ignacio Palacios, who led the case, said: “There is, in the law, a clear separation between politics and public office where the latter is not to be converted into an instrument at the service of the former. This is especially the case when—as here and with other city council boycotts—the objective is to exclude the adversary, in a clear abuse of power that aspires to place public offices at the service of political ideas that are discriminatory and contrary to the civil rights of every citizen, while simultaneously attempting to deprive others of their freedom to hold their own personal beliefs and opinions.”

About The Lawfare Project: Headquartered in New York, The Lawfare Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a legal think tank and litigation fund committed to protecting the civil and human rights of the pro-Israel and Jewish communities in the U.S. and abroad. To learn more, please visit http://www.thelawfareproject. org