The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), Israel-Spain Forum Alliance (ISFA), and Center for Jewish Impact (CJI) have issued a joint call, backed by a petition with more than 15,000 signatures, for the Barcelona City Council to vote at its meeting this Friday to restore the “twin city” relationship with Tel Aviv that was severed earlier this month by Mayor Ada Colau.
“The efforts to cancel the twin city agreement between Barcelona and Tel Aviv are not only misguided, but they are also rooted in antisemitism according to the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism,” the organizations wrote in a letter to the City Council. “The BDS activists behind the push for the cancellation of the Barcelona-Tel Aviv alliance are peace rejectionists seeking to delegitimize Israel’s very existence.”
“True peace and reconciliation are built through discourse and engagement, not boycotts and isolation, and the bonds between Barcelona and Tel Aviv — which foster tolerance and social harmony across nationalities and faiths — are something to be promoted, not destroyed,” it added.
The letter was read at a protest outside Barcelona City Hall last Sunday against the cancellation of ties with Tel Aviv.
“Barcelona and Tel Aviv are known worldwide for their diversity and inclusivity, and the more than 15,000 backers of the petition demonstrate the broad-based popular support for maintaining the longstanding special ties between the cities,” said CAM Director of European Affairs Oriana Marie Krüger.
In her Feb. 8 announcement of ending Barcelona’s “twin city” relationship with Tel Aviv, Mayor Colau accused the State of Israel of practicing “apartheid” against the Palestinians.
Colau, a member of the left-wing Barcelona en Comú who has been mayor since 2015, claimed Israel had committed “repeated violations of the human rights of the Palestinian population” and was “incompliant” with United Nations resolutions.