Barcelona freezes ties with Israel

People hold signs at a demonstration calling for boycott of Israel

A rally in support of Palestinian liberation in Barcelona, in Spain’s Catalonia region, May 2021.

Adria Salido Zarco Pacific Press/SIPA USA

The mayor of Barcelona announced Wednesday that her city was suspending all institutional ties with Israel.

This includes freezing a twinning agreement between the Catalonian city and Tel Aviv.

In a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau wrote that the agreements would remain suspended “until Israeli authorities put an end to the systematic violation of the people of Palestine’s human rights.”

In what is now their standard response to any action to hold Tel Aviv accountable, Israel lobbyists in Spain immediately accused Colau of “anti-Semitism.”

Palestinians by contrast have warmly welcomed the move.

The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) saluted Colau along with “the grassroots groups who helped end institutional links with apartheid Israel.”
“Barcelona has become the first city council to suspend ties with apartheid Tel Aviv in solidarity with the Palestinian people, a move that is reminiscent of the historic and courageous city councils that pioneered cutting links with apartheid South Africa,” the BNC added.




This is most encouraging news. Not only is Barcelona a major city in its own right, it's long been seen as a center of European culture and bastion of progressive thought. Mayor Colau and her administration are to be thanked and supported in taking this principled decision. The example of Barcelona will aid in bringing to light before other governmental bodies in Catalonia, in Spain, and in the wider world the urgent need to disaffiliate from Apartheid Israel. The Zionist state must be identified for the racist colonial scourge it is, to be isolated and rejected everywhere. Meanwhile, the BDS campaign continues to gain ground, and one day that ground will be the soil of Palestine itself. From the river to the sea...


Just when I was starting to lose hope, the brilliant mayor & people of Barcelona reinstall this hope that some day the Palestinian people will shake off their shackles and become free to raise their families in their own country without the threat of random violence from those intent on denying them that right. Bravo Barcelona!