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Spain Tag

Despite Europe's politicians and the mainstream media continuing to downplay the migrant inflow that overwhelms the continent, the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate by the day. On Wednesday, beachgoers on a southern Spanish beach watched in horror as dozens of migrants stormed the shore, abandoned their boat, and fled into the countryside.

You may recall the incident in the summer of 2015 involving Jewish American musician Matisyahu. His appearance at the Spanish Rototom Reggae festival was cancelled after threats from local Spanish activists from the Boycott, Divestment and Movement (BDS) movement. Spain has a particularly malicious BDS movement, which until recently, has had success convincing municipalities to boycott Israel, creating so-called Zionist-free zones. Those municipal boycotts have been declared to be illegal discrimination by Spanish courts. Matisyahu made a name for himself as a religious Jewish Reggae singer with hits advocating peace, such as One Day.

The Spanish government has scarcely budged an inch these past ten months. The result? Economic growth and a falling jobless rate. Though Spain's unemployment rate remains one of the highest in Europe, it dropped to its lowest in six years.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad confirmed he will sign a bill that will not allow public companies to do business with firms involved in Israel boycotts. Iowa's Senate passed House File 2331 last week in a 38-9 vote. The legislators hope the bill counters "efforts of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement." Palestinian groups began the movement in 2005 as a way to money and goods from Israel. "I just think it is wrong to be boycotting our friend and ally, Israel," declared Gov. Branstad. "There is a lot of opportunity for us to do business with them, and I don’t believe we ought to be penalizing Israel, of all countries. They are one of our best friends and allies. This is something I strongly support."

A judge in Spain's National Court has sent out international arrest warrants for Russian citizens, including some close to President Vladimir Putin, allegedly linked to the mafia. Judge Jose de la Mata, who investigates organized crime, found "very serious facts" against each of the men stemming from the Troika operation. The court opened that investigation in in 2008 two mafias in Eastern Europe: Tambov and Malyshev. "(The Tambov group) maintains strong links with political, economic, legal and security powers in Russia and also with members of other international criminal organizations," he said in his report.

Opponents of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction ("BDS") campaign against Israel won a significant tactical victory in hostile territory last month. In January, the city of Aviles, Spain - just inland of the Bay of Biscay on the northern shore of the Iberian Peninsula -  passed a resolution adopting BDS.  The Association for Action and Communication in the Middle East ("ACOM") a pro-Israel organization based in Madrid, filed a discrimination suit against the municipality. According to the Spanish-language El Commercio, in late February the city voted to rescind the BDS resolution, apparently as part of a settlement in the ACOM suit.  Google's translator function is passable:
Action Association and Communication in the Middle East (ACOM), which aims to improve all kinds of relations between Spain and Israel, hailed yesterday's decision of the City of Aviles to withdraw the boycott of Israeli products after the plenary session on Saturday approved, with the votes of PSOE, PP and Citizens, the annulment of the declaration last January 21 the Consistory incorporated Aviles to BDS Network (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against colonization, apartheid and Israeli occupation Palestine.

Spain has a particularly virulent anti-Israel movement both in the form of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, and rogue judges who threaten to issue warrants for the arrest of Israeli officials. As to BDS, recall it was the Valencia BDS group that got American Jewish singer Matisyahu banned from a reggae festival after he refused to sign a declaration denouncing Israel. The decision was reversed after an outcry and statements by the Spanish government that the action was illegal discrimination. The Spanish court system just dealt another blow to BDS efforts, finding that excluding Ariel University, located beyond the 1949 armistice line in Samaria (West Bank), from academic programs in Spain constituted illegal discrimination. The Jerusalem Post reports, In setback for BDS, Spain awards West Bank school €70,000:

The Catalonia region of Spain is voting today in local elections which, while not directly an independence vote, are considered a proxy for independence support. Background on Catalonia and Spain is explained in this English-language Spanish website, An historical look at the drive for an independent state of Catalonia. This Vox-like Spanish website has a series of "cards" explaining what is going on, Catalonia explained in 21 cards. The Daily Mail reports:

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement suffered one of its worst public relations debacles when it pressured the Spanish Rototom SunSplash festival to ban American Jewish musician Matisyahu. At so many levels, the incident exposed BDS for what it is - anti-freedom, anti-Jewish, anti-just about everything we hold dear. Left twisting in the wind are leading American BDS activists like Ali Abunimah, Max Blumenthal and Joe Catron who supported the ban, even as BDS leader Omar Barghouti ran for political cover and BDS author Ben Norton condemned the ban. BDS defenders of the Matisyahu ban claim the ban was justified because Matisyahu is Zionist and pro-Israel. If being Zionist and pro-Israel were justification for a ban, then BDS would be justified in banning the vast majority of Jews from public appearances. So tell me again how BDS is not anti-Semitic? We mentioned yesterday that the festival organizers had apologized and reinvited Matisyahu to perform. Now the date is set, August 22, on the main stage:

American Jewish reggae singer Matisyahu was banned from the Spanish Rototom Sunsplash festival after intense pressure from supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, who demanded that Matisyahu sign a pledge supporting a Palestinian state. Matisyahu was singled out because he was Jewish. He's not even Israeli. No other musician, regardless of his or her politics, was asked to take a political pledge. It was a huge victory for BDS, which routinely seeks to prevent Israeli musicians from appearing at festivals around the world for the crime of being Israeli and Jewish (the ban doesn't appear to be enforced as to non-Jewish Israelis.) When Matisyahu was first banned, there was much joy in BDS circles, particularly in the United States where BDS leaders like Max Blumenthal, Ali Abunimah and Joe Catron publicly supported the decision. (And apparently still do.) But then a funny thing happened on the way to this huge BDS victory. In fact, something quite unusual in the world of BDS bullying in Europe -- the world expressed outrage.

For years we have been arguing that at most there is a thin line between the Israel hatred of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and hatred of Jews. BDS was born at the anti-Semitic 2001 Durban conference, but was repackaged as a grassroots "civil society" movement in 2005, and now has duped many progressives into thinking BDS is just about Israel leaving the West Bank. Groups like Jewish Voice for Peace do BDS's bidding is perpetuating this charade. That thin line has all but disappeared in Europe, where BDS paves the was to anti-Semitism: So it is, in a sense, no surprise to hear the outrageous news that American Jewish musician Matisyahu has been banned at a Spanish Reggae music festival due to pressure from the BDS movement after he failed to sign a statement recognizing a Palestinian state. BDS has shifted from its practice of banning and attacking Israeli musicians, to Jewish musicians who fail to pledge allegiance to the BDS movement. It was a natural shift for the movement. The Times of Israel reports: