The Mayor of Iceland’s capital Reykjavik, Dagur B. Eggertsson, announced that Reykjavik’s ban of Israeli goods does not affect all Israeli goods but goods produced in illegally occupied Palestinian territories.The resolution passed by Reykyavik’s City Council earlier this week was ambiguous in its wording, leading many to understand that the ban affects all Israeli goods.

Dagur B. Eggertsson_reykjavik_IcelandReykjavik Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson issued a statement on Iceland’s State broadcasting service RUV, saying that the City Council would cancel its previously announced boycott and that the city would limit its ban to Israeli goods produced in illegally occupied Palestinian territories.

The ban adopted by the City Council earlier this week was tabled by Social Democrat Björk Vilhelmsdóttir.
The resolution adopted by the Council did not specify whether the ban affected all Israeli goods or goods produced in occupied Palestinian territories only.

Regardless of the decision to rephrase the ban to be more specific, Reykjavik’s decision to ban goods from occupied territories is still widely perceived as a significant victory for the international Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

Faced with sharp criticism last week, Councilwoman Björk Vilhelmsdóttir, of the Social Democratic Alliance.

Vilhelmsdóttir said:

“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”.

Reykjavik Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson, for his part, admitted that the text of the resolution had not been prepared well enough, that the wording was ambiguous, led to misunderstandings, and that the text of the resolution would now be changed to be more clear and unambiguous. Dragur added:

“I have stated that it should have been made much clearer in the text, although that’s what we had in mind. I will suggest to the City Council that the motion the way it reads now be withdrawn while we discuss the next steps and how to present it. … I must admit that I’m angry at myself for not having done this the way I wanted.”

The City Council’s decision was faced with harsh criticism from Israel, comparing the City Council with a volcano that was spewing out hatred. The resolution was also harshly criticized by Independence Party Council member Kjartan Magnússon, while Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson described the resolution as “ridiculous”.

Reykjavik City Council adopted the resolution against the backdrop of a sharp rise in Israeli aggression in the occupied Palestinian territories and systematic crackdown against Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Earlier this week the Israeli government authorized the use of life ammunition and sniper fire against “stone throwers”.

The rephrasing of the resolution to be more specific with regards to the ban of goods produced in occupied Palestinian territories does not change the fact that the majority of members of Reyjkyavik’s City Council has sent an unambiguous signal to Tel Aviv, calling on the Israeli government to end the illegal occupation of Palestine.

The original sponsor of the resolution, Councilwoman Björk Vilhelmsdóttir noted earlier this week that she intended to spend the remainder of 2015 doing humanitarian work in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Iceland’s Capital bans all Israeli-made products over Occupation of Palestinian Territories