The Israeli committee Boycott From Within issued the following letter to Reykjavik City Council Members. In recent days, the City Council voted to boycott Israeli goods, and then the mayor subsequently reversed the decision.
We write to you as citizens of Israel who actively oppose our successive governments’ policies of belligerent occupation, colonialism, ethnic cleansing and apartheid against the indigenous people of this land, the Palestinians. We write to you today to encourage you to stand by your initial and worthy decision to hold the State of Israel accountable for its consistent human rights violations, and to boycott Israeli goods.
We applaud your initial statement, correctly assessing Israel’s regime as one of apartheid and your adoption of the Palestinian people’s choice strategy of resistance. This strategy is, in fact, in accordance with UN standards and strategies of dealing with rogue states which perpetrate systematic human rights violations and act in absolute disregard of international law and human rights conventions. A decision not to partake in such gross human rights violations by divesting from states and corporations who routinely carry out these violations is indeed a moral act.
We understand that you are under a lot of pressure to reverse your decision. We urge you not to do so, as that would be construed as your support of Israeli violations. The Israeli crimes which were mentioned above are not limited to the militarily occupied territories of 1967, but exist throughout historical Palestine, and the same is also true for the Israeli economy as a whole. It is a well-documented fact that Israel became a leading arms exporter due to the strong cooperation between its military, its academia and its business sector, as well as the fact that weapon manufacturers can simply try out their weapons ( https://vimeo.com/65082874 ) on real human beings – Palestinians – beforemaking them ‘marketable’ (http://mondoweiss.net/2014/12/suicide-israeli-manufacturers). But what is less known is that the whole of the Israeli economy is geared towards profiting from the subjugation of Palestinians. Its economy is constructed in a way that the ongoing oppression of Palestinians is financially beneficial to it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkvlMkL4T24), having a captive Palestinian market and a captive Palestinian work force while having no financial incentive for arriving at peace and equality in the future.
We, as Israeli citizens, are very limited in our ability to create change in the current political climate. In recent years, Israel has taken many legislative steps to criminalize human rights activities, such as providing information about the occupation and calling for boycott of the state and war-profiteering corporations. Merely writing this letter to you is an illegal act under Israeli civil torts law and we hereby proudly violate this law.
We therefore ask you, first and foremost, to support the indigenous Palestinian people whose very existence has been curtailed and criminalized under a colonial supremacist regime. Secondly, we ourselves ask for your support, since our mere and symbolic opposition to such inhumane policies has been deemed illegal.
Please stand courageously by your initial city council decision.
BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within
(Israeli citizens for BDS)