Icelandic Capital Boycotts Israel, Makes Accusations of Apartheid

September 17, 2015

2 min read

The capital city of Iceland, Reykjavik, has passed a resolution boycotting all goods made in Israel. The resolution was part of a protest against Israeli settlement.

With an estimated population of only 115,000 people, Reykjavik isn’t a particularly large capital city, but the statement is a bold one for a country whose total population is one-third of the size of Jerusalem’s.

The city council passed the resolution in protest of Israeli policy in Judaea and Samaria, which the council deems comparable to apartheid. The move is part of a general trend worldwide to criticize and condemn Israel under the guise of supporting the Palestinian cause. 

Councilwoman Björk Vilhelmsdóttir proposed the resolution. She said that she intends to spend the remainder of the calendar year doing humanitarian work in the Palestinian territories.

While the resolution passed with sweeping numbers, it appears to be largely symbolic, as it neglected to make mention of any specific companies or products. Additionally, it is not clear whether the municipality has any dealings with any Israeli companies or if it has ever purchased Israeli products. Israel does not even have an embassy in the country, which has proved to be very hostile of Israel in the recent past.

Councilwoman Vilhelmsdóttir is a member of the Social Democratic Alliance Party, which currently has a majority in the city council, but not in the Icelandic parliament. The resolution is in line with previous party policy, which has called for Palestinian rights to independence and a sovereign country.

The resolution was fought by the Independence Party, which was skeptical as to the effectiveness of a possible boycott. The Leader of the Independence Party, Halldór Halldórsson, explained the reasoning behind his party’s opposition, saying, “Free trade is the best way to ensure peace. We should build bridges between people, and business is one of the best connections that exist.”

The Israeli Foreign Ministry responded by calling the resolution nothing more than baseless hatred and comparing it to other “spewings” coming from Iceland. Referencing the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption that halted air traffic across most of the northern hemisphere, Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon said, “A volcano of hatred is erupting out of the city council building in Reykjavik. Without any reason or justification, other than pure hatred, we hear calls to boycott Israel.”

He added, “We hope someone in Iceland comes to their senses and stops the blindness and the one-sidedness that is directed at Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.”

Let your voice be heard! Click here to contact the Icelandic ambassador to the US and condemn the anti-Israel actions of Iceland’s capital.

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