Israel officials ‘personae non grata’ as support for BDS swells in Spain

BDS Movement

Israelis are becoming increasingly worried over the growing support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Not a week goes by without the ranks of BDS swelling. Last week it was Hollywood actors and the Presbyterian Church who gave their backing for the campaign to end Israeli occupation and apartheid. This week it is Spain, which, according to the pro-settler news agency Arutz Sheva, is becoming the most hostile European nation to Israel.

A number of high profile cases were cited to support its conclusion, which it thinks should worry Israel. First there was the decision of the third largest city of the country, Valencia, to embrace the boycott of Israel by proclaiming itself a “zone free from Israeli apartheid”. The municipality stressed that “Israel is required to put an end to the occupation and remove the discriminatory wall in accordance with the resolution 242 of the United Nations Security Council and the announcement of the International Court of Justice issued on 9 July 2004.”

READ: Council in Spain joins BDS

Then the leader of the third largest Spanish party, Pablo Iglesias Turrión, head of Podemos, defined the Jewish state as a “criminal and illegal country”. The remarks followed Israel’s assault on unarmed Palestinian protesters taking part in the “Great March of Return” in Gaza.

Casting the BDS victories in Spain wider the paper mentioned the cancellation of a concert by the Israeli Symphonic Orchestra of Netanya because of political reasons. According to the local producer of the concert, which was to be held in Oviedo, they had received an official notice from the municipality stating that the cancellation of the event was the result of a political decision to “stop Israeli activities in the city”.

Oviedo, Arutz Sheva said, had also cancelled the performance of an Israeli ballet. The City Council of Cadiz had already cancelled an Israeli film festival, claiming that it “contradicts the adherence to the campaign ‘free from Israeli apartheid’”. In Benicassim, near Barcelona, the Jewish musician and reggae star Matthew Paul Miller, aka “Matisyahu”, was disinvited from a music festival because he would not publicly endorse Palestinian statehood.

READ: Spain provides €2 million support for Palestinians

Elsewhere in Spain the parliament of the Autonomous Community of Navarre, approved a resolution last May to endorse BDS. They also called on Spain’s central government to “support any initiative promoted by the international BDS campaign” and to “suspend relations with Israel until that country stops its criminal and repression policies against the Palestinian population.

Eighty Spanish towns and councils are said to have already joined the Israeli boycott campaign, which is significantly higher than the 60 reported over a year ago.


The Israeli embassy in Madrid, Arutz Sheva reported, wrote a letter to Podemos’ members accusing them of practicing a “systematic boycott policy” against Israel, after a group of deputies decided not to attend a scheduled meeting with the Israeli Ambassador Daniel Kutner.

It also mentioned that El Al, Israel’s flagship airline, intended to create a direct flight from Santiago de Compostela to Tel Aviv, but the project was rejected by the Spanish tourism leaders as a symbolic act of support for the boycott. The city of Pamplona is also reported to have declared Israeli officials “personae non grata” in the city.

On International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Middle East Monitor presents a round-up of the successes achieved by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement


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(Source / 04.07.2018)

Israel tells Khan Al-Ahmar Palestinians leave by Friday

The aftermath of Israeli bulldozers razing Al-Araqeeb village in Negev [Sarah Stern‏/Twitter]

Image of Israeli bulldozers after demolishing the Arab Bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb

Israeli occupation forces last night declared the Khan Al-Ahmar Bedouin community a closed military zone and gave its residents until Friday to evacuate the area before it is demolished in preparation for a Jewish settlement to be built in its place.

According to Walid Assaf, head of the popular committee to resist Israel’s separation wall and settlement activities, Israeli troops stormed Khan Al-Ahmar and notified residents of the military’s decision to close its roads.

Last year Israeli authorities informed the High Court that they plan to seize the land where the community is located and displace its residents, although the land is registered as owned by Palestinian citizens from the nearby town of Anata.

READ: Israel demolishes Al-Araqeeb for 129th time 

Last May 24, following a long-running legal battle, Israeli judges at the high court allowed the civil administration to go ahead with the demolition of the community’s homes and sole school at the pretext of unlicensed construction and to forcibly evacuate their residents to an area near the Abu Dis garbage dump.

Israel’s Supreme Court the demolition the go ahead in May despite pleas from EU governments.

The residents of Khan Al-Ahmar, known as Al-Jahhalin Bedouins, are refugees from the Negev desert who have lived in the area south of Jerusalem since their displacement by the Israeli army in 1967.

Israel has refused to recognise Al-Jahhalin Bedouin communities or grant them building permits.

(Source / 04.07.2018)

Israeli forces wound scores of women in Gaza rally

At least 134 Palestinians have been wounded as Great March of Return protests continue in besieged Gaza Strip.

The protest was the first mass women’s demonstration to take place in the strip since March 30 [Adel Hana/The Associated Press]
The protest was the first mass women’s demonstration to take place in the strip since March 30  

At least 134 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli gunfire as thousands of Palestinian women demonstrated along the heavily fortified fence with Israel in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesperson for Gaza’s healthy ministry, said in a statement on Tuesday that media representatives covering the event were among those who were injured at the scene, east of the enclave.

The protest was the first mass women’sdemonstration to take place in the strip since popular protests calling for Palestinians’ right of return began on March 30 in the strip.

Palestinians in the strip have taken part in the protests, dubbed the Great March of Return, calling for their right of return to the homes from which they were expelled from in 1948 during a violent ethnic cleansing campaign that forcibly expelled more than 750,000 Palestinians from their towns and villages.

UN condemns Israel for ‘excessive use of force’ at Gaza border

They have also been demonstrating against the Israeli-Egyptian land, sea and naval blockade that has been in place since 2006, when Hamas – the party governing the strip – came to power.

Women on Tuesday arrived in buses from across the port city, home to more than two million people, many accompanied by their children.

They moved in groups to within 50 metres of the fence, AFP reported.

“I came to finish the march that my daughter had started,” Rim Abu Irmana said, waving a picture of her 15-year-old daughter, Wasal, who was killed by live Israeli ammunition on May 14 – the same day more than 60 other Palestinians were also killed.

May 14, which commemorated the 70 years since the Nakba, coincided with the controversial US embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“These demonstrations are peaceful. We are only defending our land and our rights,” said Irmana, holding the hand of her young son.

Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces killed at least 138 Palestinians.

(Source / 04.07.2018)