Arbizu, a city in the Basque country has make a leap forwards in solidarity with the Palestinian people and has taken measures for comprehensive boycott of Israeli Apartheid. In a motion passed by the city council, complicity and support for the Occupation was banned as a means of solidarity with Palestinians struggling for freedom.
In June of 2005, Arbizu signed a twinning agreement with the village of Marda in the West Bank. They committed to a process of developing mutual solidarity and to develop strong ties between their communities (to see the motion, click here).
Arbizu sent a solidarity delegation to Palestine and who reported back to the community the devastating realities on the ground. Their testimonies, on the Apartheid Wall, the grassroots resistance of Marda villagers and the enclosure of Palestinian villagers and towns into ghettos, played an instrumental role in securing the boycott motion passed by the city council.
During this years week against the Apartheid Wall, the city council agreed to support the motion which stated: âThe Arbizu City Council declares it will make all the efforts and take the necessary and legal steps to compel the Israeli civil society, government and military forces to withdraw from all the Occupied Palestinian Territory and guarantee the observance of the rights of all the Palestinian people.â
The motion went on to declare that until such steps had been implemented they will: âcall for boycott, will support and execute it. The boycott consists of a consumer boycott of Israeli products as well as a boycott of all the firms, Basque or not, which make business with Israel, and non-cooperation with Israeli initiatives on the field of culture, education and sports.â
The start of municipal boycotts is a vital step in the general push of solidarity groups to isolate Israel. It shows that people of conscience, can with the political will, make the moves that will be necessary to ensure international solidarity with Palestinians is effective and concrete. Spaces for complicity and support for the Apartheid regime have been successfully shut down in Arbizu, serving as an example to campaigners across the world what they can achieve in their communities.