The Parliament of Catalonia Recognizes that Israel is Guilty of Apartheid
In a historical vote on Thursday, 16th of June, the Parliament of Catalonia recognized Israel as committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people and demanded to not give any assistance or support to this situation.
Barcelona, 16 June 2021 - The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), the broadest coalition of Palestinian civil society, warmly salutes the Parliament of Catalonia for its resolution recognizing and condemning Israel’s crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people.
With this historical resolution, the Parliament of Catalonia becomes the first parliament in Europe to publicly acknowledge that “the system applied by Israel to the Occupied [Palestinian] Territories is contrary to international law and is equivalent to the crime of apartheid as defined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Article 7.2 (h).”
The resolution was supported by the following political parties: the Candidatura d’Unitat Popular, En Comú Podem, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya and the Partit Socialista de Catalunya. We hope that their courageous vote will inspire other regional parliaments of the Spanish state, as well as its state parliament, to also stand on the right side of history.
The resolution was registered during Israeli Apartheid Week on March 21st, marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. On that day, the Catalan Coalition “Prou Complicitat amb Israel” (Stop complicity with Israel) organized a meeting between the above political parties and Bruno Stagno, director of advocacy for Human Rights Watch, and Esteban Beltran, director of Amnesty International-Spain. The latter presented the highlights of their respective reports on Israeli apartheid, calling on Catalonia to not render aid or assistance to the maintenance of apartheid, and to act instead to bring it to an end.
The resolution calls on the Government of Catalonia and the Spanish Government to use all political and diplomatic tools at their disposal to compel Israeli authorities to implement the recommendations issued by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. It also calls for ensuring that human rights are at the heart of all bilateral and multilateral agreements with official Israeli institutions by applying hightened due diligence to avoid any support of the apartheid system.
Inspired by this Catalan Parliament resolution, Palestinian civil society represented by the BNC expects the government of Catalonia and the Spanish state’s government to adopt, as a matter of priority the following measures of accountability:
Banning trade with Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, which amounts to a war crime under international law.
Suspending direct and indirect military and security trade with Israel, including training, joint military-security academic projects, and all military funding and subsidies to Israel. The recent scandal over the use of the Israeli NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware against prominent Catalans and the Spanish foreign affairs minister itself proves once again that Israel’s substantial role in global repression, mass surveillance techniques and spyware must be challenged by all States and autonomous regions.
Supporting #UNinvestigateApartheid and the re-establishment of the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid, a demand widely supported by Palestinian civil society as well as by leading international figures, particularly in the Global South.
The BNC salutes the Parliament of Catalonia for this principled resolution against Israeli apartheid. It is an important first step of public entities upholding their responsibility to #DismantleApartheid. It’s high time to make apartheid history in Palestine as was done in South Africa almost three decades ago.