A women’s water polo match between Israel and Spain scheduled for Tuesday, 6th of November, was left without a venue due to pressure from anti-Israel boycott activists. This match which is part of a European championship is a preliminary to the world water polo league. The Municipality of Barcelona backed down under the pressure of the BDS boycott movement, and decided first to cancel the competition before relocating it.

Originally, the match was to be held in Molins de Rei, near Barcelona, but due to pressure from the CUP party and BDS activists, it has been decided to hold the Match in Barcelona. Ms Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona refused to host the competition.

B’nai B’rith Spain and the Licra actively contributed to ensure the game goes ahead and backed up Israel’s Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev in the efforts to prevent the BDS movement from blocking the game. The match was finally held on Tuesday 6th of November in Sant Cugat in secondary level premises.

“This is totally unacceptable”, said Elie Azancot, President of B’nai B’rith Spain. “The situation in Spain is critical, we have witnessed many anti-Semitic decisions in our city, including the invitation of Leyla Khalid, a Palestinian terrorist”.

B’nai B’rith Europe firmly condemns the decision of the municipality of Barcelona and recalls the core mission of BDS.  Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS) opposes the very existence of the State of Israel, a member of the United Nations. It is an illegal movement which calls for a total economic, cultural and academic boycott as well as for divestment and sanctions against the State of Israel. Accordingly, BDS activists consistently engage in practices and repeated anti-Semitic statements which directly harm Jewish communities. We have already witnessed the sad results of this hate incitement.

Furthermore, at this occasion the Municipality of Barcelona was not aligned with the Olympic philosophy and its fundamental principles. Olympism says that “the enjoyment of rights and freedoms to practice sport should take place without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex,sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”. Olympism is based on the non-discrimination principle.

Serge Dahan, President of B’nai B’rith Europe congratulates B’nai B’rith members in Spain and the LICRA for ensuring the match is held despite the illegal boycott.