Liège – The city council of Liège, in Eastern Belgium, has voted on Monday to boycott the state of Israel.
A motion tabled by the Party of Workers of Belgium (PTB), an extreme-left wing and Marxist party, calls for a boycott of the Israeli state, to “temporarily suspend relations with the State of Israel and Israeli complicit institutions until the Israeli authorities end the system of violations of the Palestinian people and fully respect international law.
The Socialist Party, but also two small local parties, Vega and Green Ardent voted for this boycott.
The decision was welcomed by PTB leader Raoul Hedebouw, who said: “By adopting our motion, the city of Liege follows the good example of cities such as Barcelona and Oslo, which had already taken this decision. Liege is taking a strong stand against Israel’s apartheid policy.’’
“In Liège too, it was the pressure of the people that made the difference. A hundred activists from different movements were present in front of the town council to support this motion. This shows that real popular victories can be achieved through mobilization,” he added.
He called on Belgium and the European Union ‘to ‘’stop actively supporting Israel’s apartheid policy.’’
The Israeli Embassy in Belgium condemned the decisdion. “It is regrettable to see how radical forces have managed, through lies, to influence the Liège Municipal Council so that it takes a decision so detached from reality and harmful to the economic interests of Liège, Israel and Palestinians themselves,” stated the Ambassador, Idit Rosenzweig, to Belgian daily Le Soir.
The anti-Israel Boycott-Disinvestment-Sanctions (BDS) is very active in Belgium. An EU ranking published this week shows that Belgium is among the EU-member states less supportive of Israel.