Mme. Ada Colau
Alcalde de Barcelona
Pl. Sant Jaume1
Ciutat Vella: El Gòtic
08002 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Dear Madam Mayor:
We are writing in support of Habitat International Coalition (HIC) and its Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN) commending the City of Barcelona for joining the honor roll of progressive cities fulfilling their extraterritorial human rights and international law obligations with regard to Palestine. As Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau explained on 8 February, the Catalan capital is suspending all ties with Israel, including its twinning relations with Tel Aviv, until “Israeli authorities stop the systematic violation of human rights of the Palestinian people.” HIC also joins like-minded municipalities, human rights organizations and allies denouncing the backlash from Zionist organizations in Israel and Spain, defaming Madame Colau with false and slanderous accusations of antisemitism.
With Barcelona’s move to suspend ties with Tel Aviv, we welcomes Barcelona leadership’s conscientious position and measures to meet its duties to uphold the international legal order in this case. As organs of the treaty-bound state in the international system, public institutions, including local spheres of government, share the common legal obligation of the territorial state to uphold human rights and international law in their external relations. That duty extends to cooperation on measures toward bringing an end to illegal situations, including violations of peremptory norms such as the acquisition of territory by force; the denial of self-determination; population transfer, including the implantation of settler colonies; and apartheid regimes.
We also condemn the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people, and support Palestinian and Israeli organizations working for peace. We also join organizations in Barcelona calling for the Spanish government to end weapon sales to Israel, end all business deals with Israeli companies, and the closure of Israel’s apartheid-chartered parastatal organizations (World Zionist Organization/Jewish Agency, Jewish National Fund and affiliates) operating as tax-exempt ‘charities’ in Spain.
Barcelona’s move to oppose Israel’s apartheid and colonial regime in Palestine enhances the reputation of Barcelona in the world as a community of conscientious and law-abiding global citizens. Barcelona’s action stands as a model for other cities and communities to emulate, and we look forward to the Barcelona City Council’s affirming vote on 24 February.
We recognize that justice is indivisible and must be applied equally to all faith groups, impoverished urban and rural communities, Indigenous Peoples, and all people in need of adequate housing. The call for justice in Palestine, for Palestinians and other occupied, dispossessed and displaced peoples is indivisible with the call of those fighting for another, more equitable and sustainable world and human rights habitat, where all people live equal in dignity and rights.