The BDS movement witnessed a victory today following the city council of Reykjavik’s passing of a resolution to ban all Israeli-made products, in protest of Israel’s “occupation” of the Palestinian territories.
The Icelandic capital’s municipality, which has adopted resolutions that call for Palestinian statehood in the past, stated that the boycott of Israeli goods would remain “as long as the occupation of Palestinian territories continues,” reports Iceland Magazine. Members of the council noted that the move was symbolic in nature, to show their solidarity with the Palestinian people, and to denounce Israel’s “racist apartheid policy.”
Councilwoman Björk Vilhelmsdóttir, of the Social Democratic Alliance, proposed the resolution. "I believe that the city is sending a clear message that it will not purchase products from Israel while Israel oppresses another people on the basis of ethnicity and race, and continues having the wall inside Palestine," she said. The councilwoman added that she intends to spend the remainder of the year doing humanitarian work in the territories.
According to Ynet News, the resolution makes no mention of specific companies or products, and it remains unclear which Israeli businesses would be affected by the ban, if any.
Reykjavik’s Independence Party in the city council disagreed with the decision. The party’s leader, Halldór Halldórsson, maintained that, “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 heavily criticized the resolution, claiming, in a reference to the country's volcanic activity, that “a volcano of hatred spews forth from the Reykjavik city council building.”
“For no reason or justification, except hatred for its own sake, calls of boycotting the state of Israel are heard,” the Foreign Ministry said in an official statement. “We hope someone in Iceland will come to their senses and end the one-sided blindness fielded against Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.”
According to Reykjavik city council president Björn Blöndal, the resolution is a “peaceful way to protest injustice.”
Two weeks ago, Luxembourg's largest grocery store chain, Cactus, effectively banned all Israeli produce from their stores.