Cadiz, provincial capital in the autonomous community of Andalusia in the Spanish state, has become the latest municipality to pass a motion supporting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights and declaring itself an Israeli “Apartheid Free Zone”.
With a population of 120,000, Cadiz joins more than 50 cities and towns across the Spanish state which have voted to declare themselves spaces free from Israeli apartheid.
Other famous Apartheid Free municipalities include Gran Canaria, Santiago de Compostela, Xixón-Gijón, Sevilla, Córdoba and Santa Eulària in Ibiza.
Inspired in part by a similar campaign during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s, the Israeli Apartheid Free Zone campaign, led by the Solidarity Network Against the Occupation of Palestine (RESCOP), seeks to create ‘islands of political consciousness’ and to break local ties with Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid, as well as with international corporations and institutions that are complicit in the maintenance of Israel’s violations of international law.
The campaign, which is supported by social movements, businesses, schools, media and public institutions from across the Spanish state, has created a map indicating spaces free from Israeli apartheid.
By declaring themselves Israeli Apartheid Free Zones, local authorities agree to boycott corporations complicit in violations of international law and the rights of Palestinians as well as break ties with the Israeli regime and its complicit institutions.
They will also support local awareness raising efforts and commit to conscientious procurement policies based on the human rights of the Palestinian people.
Riya Hassan, European coordinator for the Palestinians BDS National Committee (BNC), said:
“The Israeli Apartheid Free Zones campaign across the Spanish state is inspiring similar efforts in other countries.
The fact that these declarations have been voted by democratically elected municipalities reflect the growing support for the BDS movement for Palestinian rights, not just at the grassroots level but also within governments.
This will eventually steer public opinion in favor of comprehensive sanctions on Israel until it end its systematic oppression of Palestinians.“