Read in Catalan

The city of Barcelona has not been able to stay on the sidelines over the current situation in Israel and Palestine, in particular in the Gaza Strip, which is living in a state of war following the terrorist actions of Hamas that began on 14th October and the Israeli military response subsequently. And moreover, with regard to the Catalan capital, in the context of the mayor, Jaume Collboni, having recently reestablished the twin-city relationship with the city of Tel-Aviv, which had been unilaterally broken by the previous mayor, Ada Colau, precisely as a protest against Israel. However, in an atmosphere of polarization, the governing Catalan Socialists (PSC) chose to vote for a proposal in favour of Israel and, at the same time, accept a petition favourable to the pro-Palestinian position.

All of this took place in a meeting of the city's presidency committee this Thursday morning, where a proposal presented by the conservative People's Party (PP) and a petition presented by left-wing Barcelona en Comú (BComú) were debated at the same time. Although initially the two texts were clearly directed in opposing directions, both were negotiated with the intervention of Together for Catalonia (Junts) and the PSC regarding the PP proposal, and by the Socialists alone with regard to the petition lodged by BComú, which led to the moderation of both texts, thus allowing the municipal government to support both initiatives in an exercise in equilibrium.

Thus, the votes in favour of the PP, Junts, the PSC and far-right Vox, and opposition from BComú and ERC, allowed the approval of a proposal that "condemns the unjustified and illegitimate terrorist actions of Hamas against the Israeli civilian population" and shows support "and solidarity with the people of Israel" and requests "the release of the Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas", but adds, as a trade-off, the need to "urgently review aid to Palestine to ensure that this has as its destination the Palestinian population" - when the original text called for "the immediate withdrawal of all those subsidies to organizations suspected of collaborating with terrorist organizations" - and it proclaims that the "right of Israel to defend itself from any attack must respect the limits of international humanitarian law”.

Regarding the petition presented by BComú and accepted by the municipal government, this condemns "the violence and attacks against the civilian population in Israel and Palestine", and makes an "urgent call to guarantee the protection of the civilian population through the cessation of armed attacks and of the siege in Gaza and through the opening of safe humanitarian corridors" while urging "the Barcelona city council to activate extraordinary funding for humanitarian aid to Palestine". Here as well, the negotiated text removed a reference in the original version which exhorted to "recognize that the military occupation and apartheid against the Palestinian population are contrary to International Law and must be condemned by the international community".