Cadiz, the provincial capital of Andalusia, has become the latest of over 50 municipalities across Spain to pass a motion declaring itself an Israeli “Apartheid Free Zone” in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Modeled on a similar campaign during the 1980s struggle against apartheid in South Africa, the Israeli Apartheid Free Zone campaign is led by the Solidarity Network Against the Occupation of Palestine (RESCOP). It seeks to create "islands of political consciousness" where local authorities agree to boycott companies complicit with the Occupation in violating international laws, to break ties with Israeli government agencies, and to support education and outreach efforts for Palestinian rights. With a population of 120,000, Cadiz now joins Gran Canaria, Santiago de Compostela, Xixón-Gijón, Sevilla, Córdoba, Santa Eulària in Ibiza and many other towns, now detailed on a RESCOP map.
The growth of the anti-apartheid campaign comes despite Israeli leaders' claims they have "defeated" BDS. It also coincides with a seemingly contradictory flurry of legal challenges against local councils declaring themselves Israeli Apartheid Free Zones, along with other attempts to silence BDS led by a pro-Israeli Madrid-based lobbying group - an effort BDS advocates call "an unprecedented, well-funded and anti-democratic attack against everyone seeking to hold Israel accountable to international law." RESCOP calls "intolerable" the moves aimed at interfering in Spanish towns' sovereignty and "preventing our institutions from being committed to human rights,” praising "a powerful model of solidarity with the Palestinian people" at a time of "a growing democratic deficit across Europe." Above all, they urge, "Start planning your apartheid-free holiday now."
Areas RESCOP declares liberated from apartheid support