Civil Society Organisations Welcome Barcelona’s Suspension of Institutional Relations with Israel

ECCP is one of the 88 organisations that welcomed the historic announcement by the Barcelona City Council to suspend all institutional relations with apartheid Israel. On 8 February 2023, the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, officially announcing that the Barcelona City Council will cut ties with Israel and its institutions, including the twinning agreement with the Tel Aviv City Council, “until Israeli authorities put an end to the system of violations of Palestinian human rights”.

We salute the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, for taking this courageous, principled, and historic step in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and their right to self-determination. Indeed, this decision is a testament to the unwavering commitment of the Barcelona City Council to justice, as it sends a powerful message that Israel’s settler-colonial apartheid regime, and its ensuing human rights violations, will not be tolerated. In her letter, the Mayor of Barcelona said: “[i]t would be a severe mistake to apply a policy of double standards and turn a blind eye to a violation that has been, for decades, widely verified and documented by international organisations”. Through taking this righteous step, the Barcelona City Council leads by example in respecting international law, rejecting the silence in the face of the ever-growing illegal apartheid regime imposed on the Palestinian people, and ensuring accountability is held. Since the courageous announcement by the Mayor of Barcelona, she has been a target of attacks, including baseless antisemitism accusations, which fall under the ongoing and systematic attacks against any voice mobilising and demanding the rights of the Palestinian people. These attacks, nonetheless, should, and will not, silence virtuous work towards liberation and justice for the Palestinian people and all oppressed peoples worldwide.

Our deepest gratitude and appreciation go to the people of Barcelona as well as grassroots movements, and coalitions who have relentlessly organised, mobilised and advocated for Palestinian rights. This historic action comes in response to the tireless effort and dedication by more than 100 organisations, who launched an official petition under the slogan “Barcelona says NO to Apartheid, Barcelona says YES to human rights”. Such solidarity and mobilisation by people, grassroots movements and civil society around the world have been uplifting the struggle of the Palestinian people towards freedom and self-determination. We further reiterate our deepest appreciation to the Catalan Parliament for their adoption of a ground-breaking resolution in June 2022, recognising that the legal regime in Palestine, constitutes one of apartheid.

As Israel’s systematic and institutionalised human rights violations and oppression over the Palestinian people are ongoing, alongside the newly-formed Israeli government – which has been determined to put into practice the guiding principles and coalition agreements; concrete steps must be taken to counter Israel’s impunity. We once again salute the people of Barcelona for this ground-breaking moment, and encourage other cities around the world to follow suit in taking this essential step, and use their leverage in ending institutional involvement with apartheid Israel.

Dismantling Israel’s settler-colonial and apartheid regime necessitates that the international community takes similar steps and further actions in line with their obligations under international law, including their obligation not to recognise the illegal situation stemming from Israel’s apartheid regime over the Palestinian people and their obligation to not assist the illegal situation and to cooperate to bring this crime against humanity to an end. This includes the recourse to diplomatic sanctions and arms embargo against apartheid Israel, stopping trade with Israel’s illegal colonial settlements, and ending projects and agreements that sustain the illegal situation, including the EU-Israel Association Agreement, the EU-Israel Association Council, international agreements for gas pipes through the Gaza coast, and the Euro-Asia Interconnector project receiving electricity from Israel’s colonial settlement enterprise.

List of endorsing organisations:

Adalah Justice Project
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
Agir Ensemble Pour Les Droits De L’Homme
Al-Dameer Association For Human Rights
Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man
Arab Cause Solidarity Committee (CSCA)
Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR)
Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC)
Asociacion Paz con Dignidad
Association Belgo-Palestinienne
Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine (AURDIP)
Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS)
Association Swiss Palestine
Assopace Palestina
Australian Centre for International Justice
Baladna – Association for Arab Youth
BDS Berlin
BDS Greece
BDS Italia
BDS Vancouver/Coast Salish Territories
Belgian Academics and Artists for Palestine
BIZILUR – Lankidetzarako eta Herrien Garapenerako Erakundea
Bridges for Yemen
Campagne BDS France Montpellier
Campagne Civile Internationale pour la Protection du Peuple Palestinien (CCIPPP34)
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)
CJPME Saskatoon
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
Coalition for Jerusalem
Collectif Judéo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine
Defence for Children International/Palestine
docP – BDS Netherlands
European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine – ECCP
Finnish-Arab Friendship Society
Fundación Mundubat
Gaza Action Ireland
General Union of Palestinian Women
Good Shepherd Collective
Groupe d’Amitié Islamo-Chrétienne (GAIC)
Housing and Land Rights Network – Habitat International Coalition
Human Rights and Democracy Media Center “SHAMS”
Independent Jewish Voices Canada
International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
Intersindical Alternativa de Catalunya
Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC)
Islamophobia Studies Center
Jewish Voice for Peace
Jews 4 Palestine-Ireland
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement Pour Une Paix Juste
Justice for Palestinians, Calgary
MRAP, Mouvement contre le Racisme et pour l’Amitié entre les Peuples
Nederlands Palestina Komitee
Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees – Fagforbundet
NWRG odv, Italy
Oakville Palestinian Rights Association (OPRA)
Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI)
Palestine Solidarity Campaign (UK)
Palestine Solidarity, St. John’s NL
Palestine-Global Mental Health Network
Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU)
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions – Gaza (PGFTU – Gaza)
Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall)
Palestinian Postal Workers Union
Project South
Regina Peace Council
Sadaka – the Ireland Palestine Alliance
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
The Association of Norwegian NGOs for Palestine
The Canadian BDS Coalition
The Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) UK
The Norwegian Committee for Academic and Cultural Boycott of the State of Israel (AKULBI)
The Palestine Committee of Norway
The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy (PIPD)
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy – MIFTAH
The Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC)
U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)
UK-Palestine Mental Health Network
Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC)
United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR)
US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Viva Salud
Women in Black Vienna