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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel has lashed out at a boycott of its products by the Icelandic capital’s city council over the occupation of Palestinian territory, describing it as a “volcano of hatred.” Reykjavik’s council Tuesday approved a motion to halt the city’s purchase of Israeli products until the occupation ends.
“A volcano of hatred is erupting in the Reykjavik city council,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said. “Without any reason and justification besides pure hatred, calls are being issued to boycott the state of Israel.”
The Reykjavik council has a left-wing majority. Representatives of Iceland’s center-right ruling parties voted against the resolution.
“By doing this, we as a city council, even though we are a small city in the far north, are doing what we can to put pressure on the government of Israel to stop the occupation of Palestinian territory,” council president Soley Tomasdottir told Icelandic public broadcaster RUV.
Israel is also up in arms against a push by the European Union nations to label products from its settlements, a move it considers tantamount to a boycott.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently evoked the Nazi era to criticize an EU parliamentary motion on labeling.
The Israeli foreign ministry also referred to the North Atlantic island nation’s famous geology to condemn the Icelandic capital’s decision.
Spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told The Jerusalem Post that “a volcano of hate exploded in the building of the Reykjavík municipality.”
With no “reason or justification, except for pure hatred, calls were heard to boycott the State of Israel,” Nahshon claimed. “We hope that someone in Iceland will wake up and put an end to this blindness and one-sidedness that is demonstrated toward Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.”
Vilhelmsdóttir rejected accusations that her initiative had been driven by prejudice.
“Some people have been saying I am an anti-Semite,” she told The Electronic Intifada. “I don’t understand it because I only feel love and peace to Jewish people and all others. But we also love human rights for the Palestinians and Israel’s occupation is taking them away.”
“Israel likes to be in the victim’s role,” Vilhelmsdóttir added, “but that is not true.”
While the Reykjavík vote is not likely to have a major economic impact on Israel, it carries symbolic weight.
Similar resolutions in city councils around the world boycotting South African goods helped to popularize and legitimize the struggle against apartheid during the 1970s and 1980s.
The Reykjavík decision is another indicator of how mainstream support for Palestinian rights has become.