Cutting Ties With Israel "Out Of The Question"

Cutting Ties With Israel “Out Of The Question”

Published July 28, 2014

Photos by
Sean Hoyland

It looks very unlikely that Iceland will cut political ties with Israel, going by what the previous and current Foreign Ministers have said on the subject.

While the Foreign Affairs Committee will soon meet to discuss what the Icelandic government will do in response to the attacks on Gaza, one option is vanishingly unlikely: the cutting of political ties, despite public support for such a move.

DV points out that the previous Minister of Foreign Affairs, Össur Skarphéðinsson, told parliament in November 2012 that he had met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and numerous foreign ministers from Middle Eastern countries.

“None of these people believed it would be right for Iceland to cut political ties with Israel,” he said at the time. “I think it’s out of the question for Iceland to do this alone. It would have to be done in cooperation with other nations.”

The current Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, while condemning the attacks on Gaza, has also said that he does not believe severing political ties is the answer.

Recently, Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson wrote a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, imploring him to cease the violence. What action the Foreign Committee will ultimately decide on remains to be seen.

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