Reykjavík City will boycott Israeli products
The City of Reykjavík will no longer purchase goods made in Israel. The City Council voted yesterday that the city would not purchase any goods manufactured in Israel as long as the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories continues.
A symbolic act
The motion was put forward by Björk Vilhelmsdóttir, councilwoman for the Social Democratic Alliance. Björk is retiring from politics, and putting this motion forward was her last major act in the city council. According to the motion the City of Reykjavík will boycott Israeli goods “as long as the occupation of Palestinian territories continues.”
The explanatory memorandum argues the boycott is a symbolic act. It shows that the City of Reykjavík supports the right of Palestinians to independence, while condemning “the Israeli policy of apartheid” in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The City might boycott other countries accused of human rights violations
Sóley Tómasdóttir of the Left Green Alliance, who forms part of the governing coalition in Reykjavík City Hall, along with the Social Democrats, Bright Future and the Pirate Party, told the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, that the boycott created pressure on authorities in Israel to end the occupation of the Palestinian territories. She also argued the city might boycott products manufactured in other states which engage in human rights violations.
No different than refusing to do business with red haired people?
The decision has caused some controversy. A local barrister Einar Gautur Steingrímsson claims it violates the Icelandic constitution. The city has no place setting foreign policy, he told the local news site visir.is. “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.”