Photo Credit: Facebook
Reykjavik, Iceland Councilmember Björk Vilhelmsdóttir and husband

The City Councillors of the capital of Iceland, that tiny little Island nation of former Vikings, have their knickers in a twist over the “Occupation” by Israel of what they call the “Palestinian Territories.” The knickers must be twisted too tightly, because what they did to express their displeasure is going to get their national government in trouble.

The 15-member City Council passed a motion banning the city of Reykjavik from purchasing any goods made in Israel. Reykjavik went whole hog – all Israeli goods were banned under its new law, not just goods made or grown beyond the “Green Line.” The measure was passed by a majority of the City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

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The motion was sponsored by retiring Councillor Björk Vilhelmsdóttir, of the center-left Social Democrats. The motion was introduced in 2014, as a response to that summer’s conflict between Hamas and Israel. Vilhelmsdóttir also encouraged individuals to boycott all Israeli goods.

The preamble to the new law states that the City of Reykjavik will not purchase any goods from Israel so long as that country “occupies Palestinian territories.”

In the opinion of the Reykjavik City Council, Israel deserves to be slapped – at least symbolically – for “violating international agreements” and for treating Palestinian Arabs with a form of Apartheid, akin to South Africa.

Vilhelmsdóttir claims neither she nor her legislative action have anything to do with anti-Semitism, and neither are opposed to Israel, merely to the current government of Israel.

The councillor’s husband, Sveinn Runar Hauksson, is the head of the Iceland-Palestine Association.

Sveinn Runar Hauksson (center), husband of Björk Vilhelmsdóttir

On the Councillor’s Facebook page, she features a picture of two young girls holding a huge poster of a man with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanuyahu’s head on the body of a Nazi officer.

picture featured on Facebook page of Bjork Vilhelmsdottir

Although most photographs of Hauksson show him wearing a kefiyah expressing allegiance to Fatah, his Facebook page boasts a picture of him in 2010 handing an award to the then-Prime Minister of Gaza and head of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh.

The spouse of Björk Vilhelmsdóttir, with Ismail Haniyeh, Hama leader.

 

Hauksson not only dislikes Israel, he is not too fond of the United States, and hoped its defeat by Vietnam would be celebrated all over the world.

 

WHAT THE MOTION SAYS

The boycott motion passed this week expresses Reykjavik’s disapproval of the “racial apartheid government in Israel,” and compares Israel to South Africa under apartheid. The law also expresses support for the “right of Palestinians to an independent and sovereign state within the borders of the Six-Day War in 1967.” So much for only opposing the current government of Israel.

The new boycott law states:

Boycotting products is a peaceful way to influence governments in countries where human rights are not respected and where international agreements are disregarded. One example of when boycotting had a big impact on a country was when countries all over the world decided to boycot South Africa because of its apartheid regime. In recent years, an increasing number of individuals, organisations, counties and states have taken up boycotts against Israel where the situation is not unlike the sitution in South Africa during the time of the apartheid regime. (Emphasis added.)

Interesting that the motion should mention wrongdoing countries where “international agreements are disregarded.”

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com