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On the front lines against BDS in Spain
by Tzivia MacLeod | July 6, 2020 | BDS, Israel
Spain has long been a hotbed for anti-Israel pro-BDS activity. Back in December, the nation's powerful BDS supporters swarmed a delegation from the West Bank in a Madrid hotel, physically attacking leaders of the Arab and Jewish communities.

Protestors hurled insults at the group, which included the Palestinian Authority's chief Islamic judge. This underscores the hypocrisy of BDS and proves what Israel supporters have known for years: BDS isn't about loving Arabs or supporting Palestine, it's just about hating Jews.

Ironically, the group was in Spain to appeal an EU decision to label West Bank products. Mandatory labeling of products created in Judea and Samaria hurts both Jews and Arabs by forcing employers to close or shift to other areas of the country. Close to 20,000 Arab workers in the West Bank will be among the hardest hit by the EU's new labeling rules.

And the reception in Spain highlights the glaring inconsistencies of BDS, backed up by seemingly infinite funds and resources to keep waging war against Israel.

In 2018, Valencia, Spain's third-largest city, passed a law declaring itself an "Israel apartheid free zone." Fortunately, a 2019 court victory overturned the law, proclaiming BDS to be "racist and unconstitutional." That victory came about thanks to Spain's leading anti-BDS group, ACOM (Action and Communication about the Middle East). ACOM has so far managed to annul 62 municipal BDS agreements.
But whenever one antisemitic threat is neutralized, another emerges.

In April 2020, Spain's strongest BDS group, BDS Pais Valencia, started promoting an online teacher-training course on "Solidarity and Human Rights." The course was a thinly-veiled cover for anti-Israel hate propaganda, to be taught by Jorge Ramos Tolosa, who is currently awaiting trial for incitement to hatred and discrimination in another BDS-related incident.

Thanks to ACOM and other pro-Israel organizations, the truth came out and the course was canceled. Several Spanish politicians stepped up to speak out against the evil of BDS, declaring it racist, discriminatory, and unconstitutional. "Can you imagine a Nazi giving a talk about 'our Jewish friends'? Or the Ku Klux Klan on racial equality?" tweeted one Spanish actor and politician.

Unfortunately, many strongholds of BDS remain throughout Spain, including 50 BDS-supporting municipalities.

The battle against BDS in Europe and around the world can be exhausting. But victory is possible if all of Israel's supporters stand strong, shoulder to shoulder, working together to change hearts and minds all over the world. Learn more about how you can support the fight against BDS.