A campaign that seeks to break ties between Barcelona and Israel sets off alarm bells in the Jewish community

The Jewish community in the world views with concern this hate campaign that seeks to boycott the relationship between the Catalan capital and Tel Aviv

A citizen initiative registered with Barcelona City Council urges to suspend institutional relations between it and the State of Israel. The initiative already adds more than 4,000 signatures, and the Jewish community in the world views with concern this hate campaign that seeks to boycott the relationship between the Catalan capital and Tel Aviv.

In an open letter of support to Isaac Benzaquen Pintoleader of the Spanish Jewish community, the director of International Relations of the Wiesenthal Center, shimon samuelsdemanded of the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colauthat he withdrew from the campaign of hate speech what was he asking for break the twinning between the Catalan capital and Tel Aviv.

Barcelona has a Friendship and Cooperation Agreement with Tel Aviv since 1998. Both cities are characterized by being open and diverse societies, active in promoting art, culture, high-tech start-ups and tourism. Both are known worldwide as defenders of LGBT and minority rights.

A petition drive reportedly under the bogus banner of Barcelona without Apartheid – NOhas been signed by enough of the enemies of Israel and the Jews to call a vote in City Hall.

The mayoress of Barcelona, ​​Ada Colau (EFE/Quique Garcia/File)
The mayoress of Barcelona, ​​Ada Colau (EFE/Quique Garcia/File) (Quique Garcia/)

This request is in line with the international campaign of the movement BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), directed specifically against Israel, and contravenes the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance), adopted not only by the European Union – EU, its Member States (including Spain), but also by other countries around the world, international institutions, football clubs and municipalities.

“On several occasions, the Wiesenthal Center has urged Spanish cities and sports clubs to adopt the IHRA Definition, as a tool to identify anti-Semitism. If Barcelona were to break its twinning with Tel Aviv, this would mark it as a city prone to hateful political manipulation. In fact, after Tel Aviv and the Jews, who is next?

The City Council will meet on January 27 – the International Holocaust Remembrance Day– to vote in favor of this action.

“Our mentor, simon wiesenthal, was released from the Mauthausen concentration camp by the Allies, along with other surviving prisoners among whom were his closest friends who were Spanish Republicans and Roma. They kept in touch supporting each other in their respective anti-discrimination causes throughout their post-war lives,” Samuels wrote. “Simon would be horrified by such a vandalization of the Holocaust Memorial and for the pain inflicted on the Jewish community of Catalonia and all of Spain”.

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