A joint effort by the ILF and ACOM secures an important precedent for Spain, Europe and the overall struggle against boycott and discrimination.
In December of 2015, ACOM, a Spanish organization, approached the ILF requesting assistance in building a case against Santiago, a Spanish city which adopted BDS as the city’s official policy. The legal arguments against this decision included claims based on Spanish law, EU law, precedents from other EU countries, EU-Israel trade agreements and statements made by EU officials denouncing BDS.
These arguments formulated together with ACOM’s leading attorney, Ignacio Wenley Palacios and ILF’s attorneys, were then used in similar lawsuits against other cities, including the city of Aviles.
On February 22, the Aviles city municipality informed the Spanish court that it is nullifying their resolution and thereby accepting the arguments presented in our case. The municipality explained that after consulting with its legal department it came to the conclusion that BDS policy is illegal, as it threatens people’s right not to be discriminated against, threatens academic freedom, and runs counter to Spain’s law on public contracts and E.U. directives on equal opportunities. Moreover they argued that BDS also holds the risk of incitement to violence against those effected by the boycott. Those, they add, include every individual, Jew or non- Jew, who does not declare his solidarity with the political agendas of the campaign.
Attorney Yifa Segal, Director of the ILF Added “this type of cooperation constitute one of the main objectives of the ILF, whose job, among others, is to assist attorneys from across the world in their local arenas by creating a vast legal strategy with a global perspective. Bringing together domestic legal expertise with international ones is the most efficient way to defeat global challenges.
The international cooperation between the ILF and ACOM resulted in an important success, which will be a strong precedent in similar cases throughout Europe, as well as deterrence to future cities from adopting BDS.
Click here to read the article published in Yediot Aharonot about this decision.