Relations are strained between Barcelona and Israel. The Spanish city has decided to temporarily suspend its institutional relations with the Jewish State and, in particular, its twinning with Tel Aviv, “until the authorities put an end to the systematic violation of the human rights of the population. Palestinian,” announced its left-wing mayor Ada Colau.
In a letter addressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the city councilor, since 2015, explains his decision, above all symbolic, to temporarily suspend this twinning between the two Mediterranean cities, as demanded in a petition by several pro-Palestinian groups from Barcelona. “It is very important to distinguish the policies of a State – in this case, Israel – from the whole of the Jewish population and its culture”, specifies however the mayor of the capital of Catalonia.
A similar measure with Saint Petersburg
Barcelona has been twinned with Tel Aviv and Gaza since the signing of a friendship and collaboration agreement in 1998. “We hope that this suspension will be temporary because what we want is to invite reflection and ‘action,’ Ada Colau further said during a speech on Wednesday night in Barcelona. The mayor added that Barcelona had recently ended its twinning with the Russian city of Saint Petersburg, after the start of the war in Ukraine.
The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain (FCJE), for its part, called the decision “sophisticated anti-Semitism” and lamented that it “represents neither in form nor in substance what Barcelona is and who its citizens are. “.