Barcelona – The Parliament of Catalonia has rejected a motion that condemned the rise of Judeophobia in Catalan institutions because, according to most groups in the chamber, there is no antisemitism at high levels. The left-wing parties have led the opposition to this proposal by Ciutadans, who has brandished a rise in discrimination, as well as a rejection of the “boycott” against the Jewish community. Thus, the situation of Israel and Palestine has returned to Parliament after the approval of a condemnation of the “apartheid” of the Israeli State in Palestinian territory in June.
The debate of the motion registered by the orange formation has confronted those who denounce an alleged hatred towards the Jews with those who assure that denouncing the “violations of human rights in Israel” is not equivalent to antisemitism. The Ciutadans initiative has received the complicity on some points of Junts per Catalunya, which has wanted to polish the text with amendments “oriented towards equal treatment and non-discrimination”.
To justify the motion, Anna Grau, deputy for Cs, has warned of an “unheard of wave of Judeophobia” in Parliament, the Generalitat and also on TV3. Likewise, number 2 of the parliamentary group has targeted the mayoress of Barcelona, Ada Colau, for wanting to make “a test bench for antisemitism.” One of the points of the motion lamented the consequences of a possible rupture of the twinning between Barcelona and Tel Aviv (the agreement also includes Gaza), after a collection of signatures -from the Barcelona campaign with apartheid no- which will cause the plenary municipal address this issue in the short term.
Junts is also directly opposed to the request to break relations between cities. Deputy Pere Albó has asked that “the bridges not disappear” in order to be “useful to foster harmony” between Israel and Palestine. The post-convergent has also rejected any attack against the Catalan Jewish community.
On the contrary, ERC, the PSC, En Comú Podem and the CUP have shown their opposition to the proposal. The four formations have coincided in denouncing the “discrimination” of Israel with respect to the Palestinian people and have been reiterating, over and over again, that the defenders of the motion were mixing concepts. “There is the tacit claim that any criticism of the Israeli governments is antisemitic, and we reject this,” said the socialist Ferran Pedret. Basha Changue, of the CUP, has also lamented the “confusion” that, according to him, the motion generated.
Ruben Wagensberg, from ERC, spoke along the same lines, recalling – to refute the thesis of Judeophobia – the gestures of President Pere Aragonès with the Jewish community. The executive leader attended the Hannukkah party in Barcelona yesterday, as he already did in the 2021 edition.
For her part, Susana Segovia, deputy for En Comú Podem, has accused Anna Grau -who this week has announced her intention to present herself as mayor for Cs in Barcelona- of “using” the Parliament to carry out a “pre-campaign” for her insistence on the question of the agreement between the Catalan and Israeli capitals (which was signed in 1998, when the mayor was Joan Clos).
The Ciudadanos text has been voted on separately by points, but none of them has prospered. Esquerra Republicana, PSC, los comunes and the CUP have voted against all of them, while Junts, Vox, Cs and PP have agreed in the position of yes or abstention in some aspects of the motion.
The conflict between Israel and Palestine already acquired relevance in another plenary session of the Catalan chamber last June. At that time, the Parliament approved – with the vote of the ERC, the PSC, the commons and the CUP – a resolution that denounced the “apartheid” of Israel against the Palestinians, and which provoked criticism from the Israeli embassy. The then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Victòria Alsina -from Junts, who voted against-, publicly distanced herself from the position of the chamber during a visit to Israeli territory.