Israeli Tourism Minister Chaim Katz sent a letter on Thursday to his Spanish counterpart María Reyes Maroto Illera, asking her to reverse the decision announced by the Mayor of Barcelona to suspend all of the city's ties with Israel.
"Our regional reality is changing, we signed peace agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco, and we are on our way to signing agreements with additional nations. These agreements contribute to the region's stability and strengthen the economies of all those involved. The ties between Israel and Spain are strong, Israeli tourists love Spain, and we happily welcome Spaniards and wish to see an influx of incoming tourism from Spain."
He emphasizes that Israel condemns Barcelona's decision. "This is an unfortunate and erroneous decision, you must separate between politics and tourism. Israel's internal conflict is challenging, we are working to cultivate the Arab sector, which wishes to integrate with the state. The military works with ethics, reason, and extra meticulousness regarding human rights issues.
I call to work on changing the decision," Katz concludes.
On Wednesday, the Mayor of the Spanish city of Barcelona, Ada Colau, announced that she is suspending all of the city’s ties with Israel, JNS reported.
“At the request of more than 100 entities and thousands of Barcelona neighbors, I have just communicated to [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu that we suspend institutional relations with the State of Israel due to the repeated violations of human rights of the Palestinian population and non-compliance with United Nations resolutions,” she wrote on Facebook in Spanish, and on Instagram, according to the report.
Colau added that Barcelona will maintain relations with “Israeli and Palestinian entities that continue to work for peace and against apartheid.”