by: Elisha Ben Kimon
Friday, 13 December 2019 | A joint delegation comprised of Arab and Jewish residents of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria], including the head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, was attacked by members of the anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment Movement [BDS] in Madrid on Tuesday.
The delegation arrived in Madrid to meet with members of the Spanish parliament and discuss the European Union [EU] Court of Justice decision to label products from the settlements in the West Bank.
The delegation also included prominent members of both the Arab and Jewish communities in the West Bank, including Sheikh Taissir Dayut Tamimi from Ramallah, who served as the Palestinian Authority’s chief Islamic judge; self-declared “proud Arab, Muslim, Zionist Israeli” Sarah Zoabi, and Arab Israeli Likud member Dima Tayeh.
After meeting with Spanish lawmakers, delegation members participated in a panel discussion at Madrid’s Intercontinental hotel, where they explained why marking settlement products hurts both Arabs and Jews.
A short while after the panel began, BDS members started waving PLO [Palestinian Liberation Organization] flags, hurling insults, rioting and trying to physically attack both Arab and Jewish members of the delegation.
“We are not afraid of you,” yelled Dagan as the panel’s security tackled the rioters.
“You don’t love Arabs, you just hate Jews. This is your true face, you should all be ashamed.”
After removing the rioters from the hotel, Dagan thanked the security staff and said the protesters were motivated by hatred of Israel and not a desire to help Palestinians.
“None of the BDS has ever spoken to any resident of the West Bank,” he said.
“They don’t care what’s going on out there, all they have is ignorance, hate, and a desire to destroy Israel.”
Due to the concern for the delegation member’s lives, Madrid’s special forces were called to the scene in order to remove them safely out of the hotel.
Dagan then refused a request to leave the hotel via the back door.
“We came through the front door, and we’ll leave through the front door,” he said. “We are all from Israel and we will never fear anti-Semites.”
The delegation was part of a project by Samaria Regional Council’s foreign relations department aimed at reversing the EU decision on labeling West Bank settlement products.
As part of efforts, many dignitaries from all over the world visited Samaria Regional Council and Barkan Industrial Park in the West Bank, with more expected to visit in the near future.
Posted on December 13, 2019
Photo Credit: Luis García/wikimedia.org
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