Trade Agreements with Israel targeted as Spanish activists explore effective means to isolate Apartheid Israel
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Trade Agreements with Israel targeted as Spanish activists explore effective means to isolate Apartheid Israel

A plenary session of the City Council in Leganes, a suburb of Madrid, saw a motion approved calling for solidarity with Palestinians and for the ending of the preferential accords that exist between Israel and the European Union. It marks part of the ongoing campaign by civil society organizations across Europe to end the trade association agreements between Europe and Israel and the growing attention given by solidarity groups towards local governments and institutions.

The council’s meeting on the 4th of June, 2005 was the result of campaign work by the association of the Neighbourhood of Zarzaquemada and the Palestinian solidarity group from Haydee Santamansa. Their motion called for the City Hall of Leganes to pressure the National Ministry for External Affairs for an exercise in solidarity with the Palestinian people and to develop means by which to offer support to Palestinians protecting their economic resources such as agricultural land, water and olives. The destruction of such land for Israeli expansion was given as the reason for their move to begin isolating Israel and end the preferential accords it holds with the European Union. The motion also called upon parties across the globe to suspend such agreements with Israel.

The motion was defended by Santiago Gonzalez of the Committee of Solidarity with the Arabic Cause. The Majority of the city’s councillors voted in favour of the motion. Following trends across Europe, leftist parties such as Izquierda Unida (IU) and Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol (PSOE) voted in favour of the motion. The Conservative party (Partido Popular – PP) abstained.

Coordination across Spain is moving towards implementing these city council initiatives nationwide. Moreover, a national boycott campaign targeting a brand of water imported from the Occupation is sharpening the attention of activists and consumers on the debate as to how further steps can be taken to ensure stronger and more effective coordination can apply significant pressure and isolation upon Apartheid Israel.

The destruction of Palestine continues to devastate life for the Apartheid Wall, expel Palestinians from their land and forge the expansion of the Zionist colonies. A growing awareness that Israeli Apartheid relies on external support, funding and complicity for its crimes provides the momentum for popular boycott and sanctions initiatives that can bring about genuine support and solidarity with Palestinians.