Iceland Denounces Its Capital’s Israel Boycott
Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, made waves on Tuesday when its city council decided to boycott Israel, but on Thursday Iceland’s Foreign Ministry clarified that the state does not give that decision any credence.
A spokesperson of the ministry, told that “the decision of the city council does not indicate Iceland’s relations with Israel.”
Reykjavik’s city council had decided to boycott all Israeli goods “as long as the occupation of Palestinian territories continues,” in a move that was thought to be mostly symbolic since the council has no authority over the state’s foreign policy.
The spokesperson highlighted this point, saying, “the city council of Reykjavik is one of 74 regional authorities in Iceland. As in other municipalities, the city council of Reykjavik is free to draft policy relating to its local issues, including its purchasing policy, as long as it is in accordance with national legislation.”
However, she said the decision to boycott Israel “doesn’t match the foreign policy of Iceland.”
“Israeli tourists and other visitors from Israel are of course welcome to Iceland, just like they were until now,” she added, in apparent damage control after the decision which raised much ire in the Jewish world.
Iceland’s Foreign Ministry has announced that its imports from Israel are limited, with the cumulative imports from last year totaling just $6 million.
In response to the decision, the European Jewish Congress (EJC) said that it is considering suing the city council of Reykjavik.