The Center for Jewish Impact and the Combat Antisemitism Movement vehemently denounce the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, for her deplorable and unjustifiable act of suspending institutional relations with the State of Israel. Her baseless assertion that this move was made due to Israel's supposed "Apartheid and repeated violations of human rights of the Palestinian population and non-compliance with United Nations resolutions" is nothing short of outrageous and a blatant display of sophisticated antisemitism.
The Mayor's decision clearly crosses the line between criticism of Israel and antisemitism, in blatant disregard for the definition of antisemitism established by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), adopted by the EU. This definition recognizes singling out Israel as a racist endeavor as a form of antisemitism.
The mayor's motives for ignoring the voices of over 10,000 citizens who called for maintaining relations with Israel, while claiming to act on the request of over 100 entities and 4000 Barcelona residents, are highly suspect. Her disregard for the democratic process and the planned vote on the 24th is unacceptable and constitutes a grave violation of the people's will. This is a clear manifestation of populism over principle and an affront to democracy itself.
It is imperative to emphasize that the Mayor of Barcelona is not a head of state, and her decision is nothing more than a politically motivated gambit aimed at appealing to the far-left ahead of the mayoral elections in May. Tel Aviv is a bastion of liberal values and democracy, and it is deeply concerning that the mayor would make a decision that runs counter to these fundamental principles.
The Center for Jewish Impact stands in unwavering solidarity with the State of Israel and the Jewish community of Barcelona. We reject any and all efforts to delegitimize Israel's right to exist or spread antisemitic messages. We call upon the Mayor of Barcelona to retract her decision and engage in a constructive and respectful dialogue with all parties involved. Failure to do so will only serve to further highlight her disregard for the values of democracy, human rights, and equality.
Robert Singer, Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact and Member of the Board of Governors of Combat Antisemitism Movement, stated: "The Mayor of Barcelona has made an illogical and blatant anti-Semitic decision that goes against the best interests of the city's residents. This decision was not put to a democratic vote by the municipal council, and we urge Barcelona's residents to express their outrage on this matter. We are currently finalizing two joint petitions with over ten thousand signatures, surpassing those of BDS and anti-Israel groups. We call on more residents to take action in preserving this relationship."