The Federation of Spanish Jewish Communities (FCJE), the umbrella group of Spain’s Jewish community, has penned an open letter to the mayor of Barcelona sharing their concern over a campaign to boycott the twinning of the city with Tel Aviv.
The letter – signed by FJCE President Isaac Benzaquén Pinto “with great concern” – called on Mayor Ada Colau to affirm her support for the twinning of the cities and against the boycott campaign “under the alarming slogan ‘Barcelona with the apartheid NO,”” which also seeks to break off relations with Israel.
“All the Jewish communities are concerned about how the members of our community in Barcelona, all of them Barcelonians by origin or adoption and regardless of their political affiliation, are experiencing this campaign of rupture,” the letter explained.
Noting that “Barcelona and Tel Aviv are open and welcoming societies” that have much in common in many areas, including high tech, tourism and investment, and that both are “welcoming ports for all,” Pinto reminded Colau that “the people of Barcelona and Tel Aviv have always welcomed everyone equally and would not tolerate any kind of boycott.”
“From our communities and entities, we proudly promote and know our Barcelona as one of the favourite destinations for the twinned citizens of Tel Aviv, as well as for hundreds of thousands of tourists arriving from the other side of the Mediterranean.”
“I fail to understand how they will disembark in the city when they are not welcome,” the letter added.
Pinto’s letter also called on “all politicians in the Barcelona City Council, like their predecessors, to allow Barcelona to continue to build bridges of harmony, sensitive to all minorities, and to avoid promoting discourses of rejection and isolation.”
“It is a sign of respect and union between respectful and modern societies that we must defend,” the letter stressed.