Sports and Culture Minister Regev demanded that her Spanish counterpart not cave in to BDS activism and hold the women’s water polo match at its originally designated venue.
The Spanish city of Molins de Rei buckled to pressure from the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement by moving the Women’s Water Polo World League match between Israel and Spain to Barcelona, citing security reasons.
Due to what ACOM, a Spanish pro-Israel group, termed a “lack of political courage and democratic commitment by the city,” the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation announced that the game will be played in Barcelona.
Local anti-Israel activists had called for a demonstration at the gates of the sports complex in Molins de Rei, demanding that Spain boycott the game entirely.
ACOM “strongly condemns the use of sporting events to promote hatred and discrimination,” the group stated.
Responding to the outrage, Israeli Minister of Sports and Culture Miri Regev called on her Spanish counterpart to intervene and move the match back to its original venue as well as to ensure proper sportsmanship.
BDS is “clearly anti-Semitic in nature and operates to harm the state of Israel and its citizens,” Regev stated, the Jerusalem Post reported. “It is my expectation that the government of Spain will take all the necessary steps in order to reverse the decision of the Municipality of Molins de Rei.”
“Do everything so that the city Molins acts according to the international Olympic charter and prevent the BDS movement from blocking the game from being held,” she wrote. “Also take action to protect the well-being and safety of the Israeli sportswomen.”
The Israeli team, which is already in Spain, has yet to receive final notice on the updated time or place for the match.
BDS Losing in Spain
While BDS has a strong presence in Spain, it has experienced many legal setbacks.
To date, The Lawfare Project has scored some 60 victories against BDS since it began operating in Spain. In the last two years, it has secured dozens of injunctions and favorable court decisions.