Iceland's capital adopts Israeli goods boycott
The city council of Iceland’s capital Reykjavik voted on Wednesday to boycott all Israeli goods.
The motion was approved by 9 votes to 5 after being proposed by Björk Vilhelmsdóttir, a city councilor from the Social Democratic Alliance (Samfylkingin). The motion states that Reykjavík will boycott “as long as the occupation of Palestinian territories continues.”
The news was welcomed by Riya Hassan, the Europe campaigns officer with the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee, the coalition of Palestinian organisations that leads the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement:
"This motion to exclude Israeli products from the city's procurement system is an impressive victory for human rights and the Palestinian people in its struggle for justice, equality and freedom."
“The fact that Israel is already gearing up to use all means to overturn this decision proves that this is a significant decision that challenges Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism.”
“Whatever Israel and its supporters throw at the city council, nothing can undo the moral stand taken by the Reykjavik council, which has made a democratic decision to hold up human rights principles in the city's procurement policies.”
“We particularly welcome that the motion uses the word apartheid to describe Israel’s regime. There’s a growing realization that Israel’s system of oppression meets the definition of apartheid as set out in international law.”
Dozens of councils across Sweden, Spain, the UK, France and Norway have passed similar motions in recent years.
The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement has recently celebrated the decision of French multinational Veolia to divest completely from the Israeli market following an international campaign that saw local councils across Europe and the US boycott the company, costing it billions of dollars of lost contracts.
Controversial Israeli company SodaStream recently closed its factory in an illegal Israeli settlement in response to the boycott campaign against it.