SWC Condemns Break In Relations Between Barcelona and Tel Aviv
February 14, 2023
The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned the break in relations between the city of Barcelona and Tel Aviv. This decision came in spite of widespread protests in January, especially from the local Jewish community, because the planned date for a “de-twinning” vote was January 27th, International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau cited that Israel is guilty of “apartheid,” as well as “flagrant and systematic violation of human rights.”
In an open letter, SWC Director for International Relations, Shimon Samuels, asked the Barcelona Mayor to withdraw from the hateful campaign against Israel.
He said that the petition is "In line with the international BDS campaign specifically targeting Israel, and contravenes the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) Definition of Antisemitism, adopted by the EU, its member-states – including Spain - other countries worldwide, international institutions, football clubs and municipalities."
The Center also exposed that Barcelona is breaking relations with Tel Aviv while remaining twinned with Hamas-ruled Gaza, Putin’s beloved St. Petersburg, and Isfahan - where the secret Iranian nuclear weapons program is reportedly based.
“The mayor has embraced the disgusting tactics and defamatory language of the ‘international anti-Semitic movement,” added Samuels.
On several occasions, the Wiesenthal Center has urged Spanish cities and sport clubs to adopt the IHRA Definition, as a tool to identify anti-Semitism.
In a related development, the SWC welcomes Madrid’s Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida's offer to twin with Tel Aviv.
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).