Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Politics

Boycott of Israeli goods by Reykjavík City stirs up a controversy: A “Volcano of Hate”

By Staff

  • A Volcano of Hate A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Israel described the decision by Reykjavík City Council to boycott Israeli made goods as an eruption by a "volcano of hatred". Pictured Reykjavík's famous landmark Hallgrímskirkja church. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson.

News of the Reykjavík City Council voting in favour of boycotting Israeli goods have caused a major controversy both in International and Israeli media. An Israeli official denounces the decision as motivated by hatred. Hundreds of online commenters have announced they will respond to the boycott by boycotting Icelandic goods or cancel planned visits to Iceland.

Furious response
A spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry, Emmanuel Nahshon denounced the motion as motivated by hatred of Israel. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:

“A volcano of hate is exploding in Reykjavik’s city council building. There is no reason or justification for this move, besides hate itself, which is being heard in the form of calls for a boycott against Israel, the Jewish state. We hope that someone in Iceland will wake up and stop this blindness and one sidedness which is aimed against the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel.”

Our story, which was picked up by Haaretz and Times of Israel yesterday, has received considerable attention. It has generating a heated discussion on social media and in the comments section of the media outlets which have covered it. Over a hundred comments have been left on the original story at Iceland Magazine. The overwhelming majority is from readers who are furious over the move by Reykjavík City Council, declaring they will now boycott Icelandic goods and cancel planned trips to Iceland.

Read more: Reykjavík City will boycott Israeli products

One Facebook user declared “Reykjavic was on my bucket list. No longer - it's been erased. I will be boycotting them.” Another, On Elpeleg who is titled a Middle East Commercial Attaché for Somalia describes the move as “tragic”: “Iceland turned into an Island of hate. Boycoting by the way, unlike the vikings' swords is a two-edged sword!“ On Twitter Elpeleg also announces he will no longer be visiting Iceland an "Island of Hate" this summer.

Misunderstanding?
Some of those who have commented on these stories, both at Iceland Magazine and other media outlets who have covered the story seem to have gotten the impression that Iceland had imposed a unilateral trade embargo on Israel. The Jewish Press told its readers “Reykjavik, Iceland passed a law boycotting all Israeli products”, which could also be interpreted in this manner.

But this is not the case. The motion by the city council does not have binding legal power or ban the sale of Israeli products in the city or Iceland. It only applies to purchases by the City and its agencies. Israeli manufactured goods and products will continue to be sold in Reykjavík stores.

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