We salute the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, for her brave decision to suspend institutional ties with Israel, including the twinning agreement with Tel Aviv, until Palestinians can live in freedom, without military occupation and apartheid.
This reminds us of the courageous city councils that pioneered cutting links with apartheid South Africa in the past.
Following reports by major Palestinian, South African, Israeli and international human rights organizations that designate Israel as an apartheid state and call for effective measures of ending complicity with it, Barcelona’s decision should inspire institutions worldwide to end their own involvement in sustaining regimes of oppression. Apartheid, after all, is a crime against humanity.
We, the undersigned, oppose racism in all its forms and uphold the principles of justice and human rights in a holistic way that includes Palestinians. We are morally outraged that powerful governments react to Israel’s grave violations of Palestinian rights under international law with empty gestures and expressions of “concern,” while simultaneously arming, funding and shielding from accountability Israel’s decades-old system of injustice and continuing business as usual with it.
With the current Israeli government, the most far-right, racist, sexist and homophobic ever, pressure is more needed than ever to end its impunity and compel its respect for Palestinian rights under international law.
We commend everyone who made this decision possible, especially the human rights campaigners who worked tirelessly and selflessly to bring it about. You all give us hope that justice, freedom, equality and dignity for all can prevail.