A coalition of the Combat Antisemitism Movement, the Center for Jewish Impact, and the Israel Spain Forum Alliance has garnered 15,900 signatures from around the world on a petition to preserve the twin city agreement between Tel Aviv and Barcelona. The petition is a counter-measure to the recent decision by Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau to cancel the agreement and suspend the institutional relationship with Israel, following pressures from the BDS movement and her anti-Israel position.
In response to Colau's unilateral decision, civil society activists and organizations have united to restore the important alliance between Barcelona, Tel Aviv, and Israel. To be discussed in the city council of Barcelona, an agenda item must have at least 4,000 local signatures. The new petition, led by the aforementioned organizations, has over 5,000 signatories from Barcelona and 10,000 from around the world. This level of support highlights not only the widespread backing for the preservation of the twin-city agreement but also the concern among Israel supporters worldwide regarding a potential snowball effect in other cities globally. The official vote to reverse the mayor's decision will take place on February 24th.
Robert Singer, Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact and member of the Governing board of Combat Antisemitism Movement, said, "Our coalition's firm response is motivated by our determination to uproot the source of the problem. We mustn't allow other vibrant and liberal cities like Barcelona, with a large Jewish and Israeli community, to fall prey to the BDS movement. Any attempt to spread antisemitism, even with a modern guise, will receive a swift, resolute, and united response. I visited Barcelona two weeks ago, where I met key figures in the city council and the Catalonian government to influence the situation and promote our petition. My conversations with the local population reflected to me that Mayor Colau doesn't have significant backing for her unilateral decision. I call on the residents of Barcelona and elected officials to continue fighting until the decision is reversed."
Sacha Roytman, CEO of Combat Antisemitism Movement, stated, "Ada Colau is trying to portray her action as not antisemitism, but it is no more than a political mask for the world's oldest hatred. The basis for the mayor's unilateral decision is unequivocally antisemitic. Therefore, Combat Antisemitism Movement decided to collaborate with the Jewish Community of Barcelona, the Center for Jewish Impact, and the Israel-Spain Forum Alliance to create the counter-petition to preserve the relationship between Israel and Barcelona. We are very pleased to have received more than 15,900 signatures in less than two weeks, reflecting the vast support in preserving this relationship. We will continue to fight antisemitism in any way and prevent the spreading of hate."
Blanca Navarro, President of the Israel-Spain Forum Alliance, added, "We are grateful for the outpouring of support from our friends in Barcelona and worldwide. Thanks to you, we do not feel alone in this critical battle. For too many years, politicians have legislated anti-Jewish and anti-Israel legislation without paying the price. Enough is enough. We will do everything in our power to restore the important bond between Barcelona, Tel Aviv, and Israel."