Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Spain’s Third-Largest City Declares Itself ‘Free Of Israeli Apartheid’

(JTA) — Following a major Spanish city’s vote to boycott Israel, the leader of Spain’s third-largest party called the Jewish state a “criminal country” during an interview aired by public television broadcaster.

Pablo Iglesias Turrión, leader of the Podemos far-left party, said this in an interview earlier this week on RTVE. “We need to act more firmly on an illegal country like Israel,” said Iglesias Turrión, whose party in 2015 won 20 percent of the votes in the general election just one year after its creation.

Last week, a motion promoted by a local fraction of Podemos on the city council of Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, was passed declaring a boycott of Israel and Valencia a “Israeli apartheid-free zone.”

Podemos has called for a blanket boycott of Israel and has accused its government many times of pursuing apartheid-like policies. However, calling Israel’s existence illegal is a new development.

ACOM, a Spanish pro-Israel group, said that Iglesias Turrión’s statement reflects anti-Semitism because Podemos does not consider any other country in the world illegal but Israel. ACOM also said that it has initiated legal proceedings against Valencia over its vote to joing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. In recent years ACOM actions have led to the scrapping, annulment or suspension of 24 motions to boycott Israel by Spanish municipalities.

So far, Spanish tribunals, including Spain’s Supreme Court in two of its rulings, have voided a total of 16 boycott motions passed by municipalities. Another seven municipalities voluntarily scrapped their boycott motions under threat of legal action by ACOM. One municipality’s boycott motion was suspended by a court injunction.

Contact Alyssa Fisher at [email protected] or on Twitter, @alyssalfisher

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.