Right now, Artur Mas, the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya along with Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias and the Minister of Economy and Knowledge, Andreu Mas-Colell are on an official visit to the state of Israel. We are extremely worried that these government figures are presenting Israel as a “model” and a “reference for Catalonia. Equally worrisome is that they are using agreements between universities and research associations, among others, as a tool intended to forge an alliance with Israel.
In light of this we want to highlight five points:
The visit and the words of Artur Mas demonstrate the unequivocal position of the Government of the Convergència i Unió (CiU) in favor of the state of Israel and against the rights of Palestinians. This implies, among other things, support for the illegal military occupation which is contrary to International Law [1-4]
The strengthening of relations with Israel goes against the 2005 call of Palestinian civil society to the international community to implement a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) until Israel respects the rights of the Palestinian people and International Law 
The line adopted by the Government goes against the trends of the international community. One recent example illustrates this clearly. Just last week, the government of South Africa (which emerged from the struggles against the apartheid regime in South Africa) announced that it was going to reduce to a minimum its institutional relationships with Israel while Palestinian rights are not respected . During the final years of apartheid South Africa, several Western governments stood out for their support of that racist regime. We do not wish for the government of Catalonia to play this role in the future in the case of Israel (and we are certain that the people of Catalonia will not permit it)
The Government has not demonstrated any interest in knowing the reality that Palestinians face during its visit. This invisibilizing of a people who live under a regime that perpetrates apartheid and military occupation is an insult to the suffering of millions of people
Finally, the agreements signed with Israeli universities and research institutes are also against the momentum of this time. The European Union recently decided that it would not collaborate with organizations and institutions that have branches in Israeli colonies in the occupied territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This news, which has gone virtually unmentioned in the mainstream media, is hugely significant and has infuriated the government of Benjamin Netanyahu [7, 8]. We must add that all Israeli universities maintain strong ties with the army, the arms industry and the occupation
In light of this, we not only lift up our voices in protest of this visit, but we are resuming the campaign to collect signatures supporting an academic boycott of Israel. In this, we have already gathered more than 500 signatures from the academic world across the entire state of Spain and we are sure this will gain even more momentum in the coming weeks.
Here you can sign in case you have not already:
One year after the Israeli military campaign “Defensive Pillar,” which lasted from the 14th through the 21st of November of 2012 and resulted in more than 139 people killed in the Gaza Strip according to the UN General Secretary , we wish to reiterate the 2005 call by more than 170 Palestinian organizations for global civil society to take up campaigns of Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) against Israel. In the meantime as the occupation continues and Israel continues to practice systematic apartheid targeting the Palestinian population, we ask our government to break any accords with Israel; be they academic, commercial, cultural, or any other.
Occupation, colonization and apartheid are not our model for Catalonia.
We ask you to distribute this across your social and friend networks.
Junts (Associació Catalana de Jueus i Palestins)
Comissió Universitària Catalana per Palestina (CUNCAP)
Dones en Rebel·lia
IJAN (International Jewish Antizionist Network)
Red Solidaria contra la Ocupación de Palestina (RESCOP)
Ítaca (Organització Internacionalista dels Països Catalans)
Revolta Global-Esquerra Anticapitalista
BDS País Valencià
Plataforma Aturem la Guerra
Taula Palestina (Mallorca)
Col·lectiu Antimilitarista de Sant Cugat (CASC)
Federació d'Associacions Catalanes Amigues del Poble Saharauí
Endavant (Organització Socialista d'Alliberament Nacional)
Rumbo a Gaza
Esquerra Unida i Alternativa-EUiA
Posted on 12-11-2013