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Anti-Semitism: Spanish Anti-BDS Legislation

(February 2016)

The Spanish Government compensated Ariel University in Israel with $107,000 in damages in January 2016, after excluding the University from a scientific competition years earlier for admitted political reasons. Ariel University is located in a West Bank settlement, and therefore was excluded from a 2009 competition featuring solar-energy innovators according to the Spanish government. In 2016 this exclusion was found to be a violation of article 14 of the Spanish constitution, forbidding discrimination based on nationality or place of origin. This decision to compensate Israel for exclusion was celebrated as a legal victory against BDS.

The City Council in the Northern city of Alives, Spain adopted a resolution supporting the BDS movement in early 2016, but it took less than one month for the Council to distance themselves from the vote and denounce the BDS movement as discriminatory. The motion passed just weeks before was nullified on February 22, 2016, after the pro-Israel group ACOM initiated a discrimnination lawsuit against the city. In addition to voiding the discriminatory motion, the Alives City Council issued a statement noting that the BDS movement, “threatens people's right not to be discriminated against,” threatens academic freedom, and is counterintuitive to Spain's national laws.

Source: “In BDS defeat, Spain compensates Israeli University for boycott exclusion,” Forward, (January 6, 2016);
“Spanish city scraps BDS motion, denounces boycott as discriminatory,” Jerusalem Post, (February 22, 2016);