The City Council of Reykjavik, capital of Iceland and home to about half of the Nordic country's population, has voted to boycott Israeli goods until Israel “ends it occupation of Palestinian territories.”
Unlike the federal government of Iceland, the council is dominated by left-wing parties. According to its sponsors the resolution was meant as a symbolic vote and it will unlikely have any impact on trade between Iceland and Israel. The text does not mention any specific Israeli companies or products.
The council has in the past adopted a resolution acknowledging the rights of the Palestinians to independence and a sovereign country of their own and criticized what it calls the Israeli government's "racist apartheid policy", according to 'YNet'.
The leader of the right-wing Independence Party on the council, Halldór Halldórsson, said free trade was the best way to ensure peace. "We should build bridges between people, and business is one of the best connections that exist," he said.
Israel's Foreign Ministry condemned the vote. "A volcano of hatred is erupting out of the City Council building in Reykjavik. Without any reason or justification, other than pure hatred, we hear calls to boycott Israel. We hope someone in Iceland comes to their senses and stops the blindness and the one-sidedness that is directed at Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East," said Emanuel Nachson, the ministry's spokesman.
Iceland has only a tiny Jewish presence, with an estimated 100 Jews living there.