On Friday, in a cross-party decision, the Madrid Assembly, the local parliament of the main region in Spain, has officially adopted the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism and all of its examples, which clarifies that certain anti-Zionist positions and activities as anti-Semitic.
The Assembly also demands that the national parliament adopt legislation to exclude any possible grant and public aid to entities that promote Antisemitism according to the IHRA Definition. This proposal to the national parliament would effectively exclude public financing of any BDS group or activity in Spain, a nation where BDS has gained popularity in recent years.
The objective of the Madrid Assembly’s bill is to change current legislation to deny any public aid, contracts, or grants to entities that carry out discriminatory practices for reasons of birth, race, sex, religion, opinion, or any other personal or social condition or circumstance, especially focusing on Antisemitism.
The main organization which lobbied extensively for the adoption of this law was ACOM (Action and Communication on the Middle East), a pro-Israel advocacy organization. CEO of ACOM Angel Mas explained the importance of the passing of this law.
“We are delighted at the passing of this law, crafted after years of collaboration with different political parties with which we have been working closely and offering reliable information, both in Madrid and in the rest of the country,” Mas said. “We reaffirm our commitment to continue working so this crucial determination adopted by the Madrid Assembly is repeated, not only in Spain, but also in the whole of the European Union.”
“What makes this unique is that not only does it reflect the importance of adopting the IHRA definition of Antisemitism, but that it also includes the necessary legal ramifications to those involved in hatred, open or masked, in the public space.”
The law and its proposal to the national parliament are important in a country which has a strong following for BDS and anti-Israel activity, supported by extremist organizations. In recent years, 80 regions and municipalities have officially supported anti-Israel activities and boycotts, only for many of them to be overturned by the courts after ACOM successfully petitioned against them on the grounds of discrimination.
“For the fight against Antisemitism to be effective, it is necessary to end the public financing of organizations that support campaigns of delegitimization, such as BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel), which not only seeks to discriminate against those who support the Jewish state, but all Israeli citizens and companies, and seek the disappearance of Jewish national rights as represented by Israel,” Mas continued.
ACOM has expressed its thanks to the political parties for their support of this motion, beginning with the proposing party, Partido Popular, the ruling party in the Madrid region of the President of Madrid Isabel Díaz Ayuso, a strong and committed defender of Israel, the Socialist Party (center-left), and the VOX Party (conservative). It is important to acknowledge their support for this historic initiative as the best tool to fight a hatred that unites extremists from both sides of the spectrum.