Madrid mayor offers to twin with Tel Aviv after Barcelona snub

José Luis Martínez-Almeida, the mayor of Madrid, offered to pick up the partnership from the Catalonian city


MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 27: Madrid Mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida attends Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2021 presentation at Casa de Correos on May 27, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

The mayor of Madrid has offered to twin with Tel Aviv after his counterpart in Barcelona severed ties with the city over the positions of Israel's new government.

José Luis Martínez-Almeida, the mayor of Madrid, offered his city as a replacement for Tel Aviv in the “twinning” agreement.

"Faced with sectarianism, we are making a commitment to democracy and freedom in Madrid.

“It would be an honor to be twinned with Tel Aviv,” the mayor said in a video posted to Twitter.

He added: "I do not know the reasons why we were not twinned but I think this is a great opportunity to show Tel Aviv and, by extension, the entire State of Israel that Madrid is clear about where it has to be; that Madrid is clear on the right side.

"Madrid is clear that we have to strengthen our relations with a democracy, a State governed by the rule of law like Israel."

The move was supported on social media by the European Jewish Congress who tweeted: “We need to build bridges between peoples, not destroy them.”

Earlier this week, Ada Colau, Barcelona's left-wing mayor announced the move to cut ties between her city and Tel Aviv.

She said: “More than 100 organisations and over 4,000 citizens have demanded that we defend the human rights of Palestinians and for this reason, as mayor, I have written to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to inform him that I have suspended temporarily the institutional relationship between Barcelona and Tel Aviv”.

The decision was met with criticism by the Deputy Mayor of the city who shared : "An alliance with Tel Aviv is an alliance for the future. To maintain twinning is to keep the door open to peace, human rights and compliance with international law, together with Palestinian cities."

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