The city council of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, has announced it will be boycotting all products made in Israel “as long as the occupation of Palestinian territories continues.”
The boycott is not limited to Judea and Samaria, but instead targets all of Israel. It is said that this is probably just a symbolic gesture as they did not reference any companies or products to boycott. It is also not clear whether the municipal authority has any jurisdiction to enforce this on Icelandic businesses.
Björk Vilhelmsdóttir, an outgoing councilwomen representing the Social Democratic Alliance, introduced the bill, which is expected to be her last major action as part of the city council.
She says, “I believe that the city is sending a clear message that it will not purchase Israel products as long as Israel oppresses another people on the basis of their ethnicity and race, and the continued existence of a wall within Palestine.”
Even though the Social Democratic Alliance, which made this decision, is the majority party in the city council, it does not have the majority in the Icelandic parliament. This suggests the move might not be a policy that Iceland agrees with as a whole.
The council’s Independent Party leader, Baldur Haldorson, said his party opposed the decision. “Free trade is the best way to ensure peace,” he said.
Countering this approach, the President of the City Council, Lloret Blondal, who is also the leader of ‘A Brighter Future’, said that the decision was merely symbolic, stating that “the way to achieve peace is to protest injustice.”
In Israel, the Foreign Ministry spokesman in Jerusalem, Emmanuel Nahshon said “a volcano of hatred has erupted in the Reykjavik City Council building. For no reason or justification, aside from pure hatred, there are calls to boycott the State of Israel. We hope that someone in Iceland will come to their senses and stop the one-sided blindness against the State of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.”
A local lawyer, Einar Gautur Steingrímsson, argued in an article on Icelandic news site, visir.is that the city has no place making foreign policy decisions. He also added, “This is as illegal as refusing to do business with red haired people and it makes no difference whether they justify their decision with references to some alleged actions by the Israelis.”
Israel is the only country being boycotted by Reykjavik.