Mayor of Reykjavik rejects Israeli boycott plan

Mayor of Reykjavik rejects plan by Reykjavik city council to boycott Israeli goods

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Reykjavik city council, capital of Iceland, votes in favor of boycotting Israeli goods to protest illegal occupation of Palestine

The mayor of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, Dagur Eggertsson, said on Saturday he would scrap plans to boycott Israeli goods. The plan was viewed with outrage in Israel.

"I will propose to the municipal council that the idea is withdrawn," Mayor Dagur Eggertsson said on Icelandic public television.

"This was ill-prepared. I blame myself for not following it more closely."

The boycott was announced on Wednesday and would ban the sale of all Israeli goods to protest the illegal occupation of Palestine. 

On Tuesday, the city council of Reykjavik voted in favor of boycotting Israeli goods until the illegal occupation of Palestinian land is stopped.

Reykjavik city council has a left wing majority. Representatives of right wing groups voted against the boycott.

The city council explained the reason behind the decision with a synopsis referring to "the right of Palestinians for an independent state” and UN Security Council Resolution 242.

The Resolution, which was adopted in 1967 after the six-day war between Israel and several Arab countries, demands the “withdrawal of Israel from territories occupied in the recent conflict” and “respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace.”

Iceland’s right wing government had criticised the decision, saying that the boycott did not conform with the law and World Trade Organisation rules.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon described Tuesday’s decision as “a volcano of hatred.”

World Jewish Congress in New York said the boycott "only strengthens extremists on both sides," and called for Iceland’s government to act against the decision.

A US human rights group criticised the vote by saying that the boycott could "create an environment hostile to Israelis and other Jews."

In recent years, many other councils have passed decisions to boycott Israeli goods in Sweden, Spain, the UK, France and Norway.

TRTWorld and agencies