A Spanish city trying to increase tourism lost a direct flight connection with Israel over its symbolic support for boycotting the Jewish state, the Times of Israel reports.
The Spanish branch of El Al had for months been negotiating with tourist officials from the autonomous region of Galicia, in northern Spain, over opening a direct flight between its capital, Santiago de Compostella, and Tel Aviv, but the talks failed following the passage in November of a non-binding city council motion in favour of boycotting Israel.
Tourism is a major source of income in Galicia and Spain is one of the top destinations for Israeli tourists, with over 350,000 Israeli’s visiting Spain annually.
Alejandro Sánchez-Brunete, a member of the Santiago City Council for the centre-right Popular Party, accused the far-left party that won Santiago’s elections last year, Compostella Abierta, of sabotaging that effort by destroying talks on opening a direct connection with Israel.
“These talk were focused” and at advanced stages, Sanchez-Brunete said, and the motion “resulted in the loss of an aerial connection.”
An independent investigation of the affair by the newspaper, La Voz de Galicia, “produced clear indications that this is the case,” they reported.
The city council has seemingly shot itself in the foot by voting to boycott Israel as it undoubtedly lost out more when Israel decided to turn the tables and boycott the boycotters.