Spanish government cancels contract with anti-Semitic organization

Government of Valencia cancels teacher training contract with pro-BDS organization.

Ben Ariel and JTA ,

BDS activists
BDS activists

A regional government in Spain has canceled its teacher training contract with an organization that is widely regarded as anti-Semitic, JTA reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the government of Valencia on Monday pulled offline the inscription form for the training by the BDS Pais Valencia organization titled “Solidarity and human rights. Learning to teach against hatred and racism (Judeophobia, Islamophobia, and Palestine-Israel).”

The 20-day online seminar for teachers was scheduled to begin on June 8.

The government did not explain its decision to cancel the seminar, which had provoked international protests by Jewish groups and ACOM, a pro-Israeli organization in Spain.

In 2015, BDS Pais Valencia initiated what resulted in the exclusion of Jewish-American singer Matisyahu from a music festival because he’s a “Zionist.”

ACOM on Twitter compared the seminar to having “a Nazi lecturing against racism, or a member of the Ku Klux Klan speaking on racial persecution.”

The Anti-Defamation League and the European Jewish Congress also protested the government’s sponsoring of the seminar.

Legal and lobbying actions by ACOM and other groups have resulted in the scrapping, annulment or suspension of over 30 motions to boycott Israel by Spanish municipalities in recent years.

In 2018, two municipalities in Spain – Villarrobledo and Sagunto – rescinded their adhesion to the campaign to boycott Israel.

Before that, nearly two dozen other Spanish municipalities had rescinded or suspended pro-BDS measures against the State of Israel.

At the same time, despite many victories over the BDS movement in Spain, the country still has dozens of municipalities supporting BDS, more than in any other EU member nation.

In June of 2018, councilors in the city of Pamplona, the capital of the Navarre province, called on the Spanish government to stop its arms trade with Israel and on their municipality to declare Israeli officials as "persona non grata" until Israel stops its "oppressive policy against the Palestinian people".

A week earlier, the city of Oviedo, the capital of Spain's Asturias region, cancelled a concert of Israel's NK Orchestra, citing political reasons. Oviedo also cancelled an Israeli ballet performance.