A parliamentary proposal has just been submitted which calls on the government to label products imported from occupied Palestinian territories.
While much focus has been on Reykjavík Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson’s recent decision to rescind a city hall boycott on buying products from Israel – in order to revise it to specify products made in occupied Palestinian territories – a parliamentary proposal was quietly submitted yesterday by opposition party MPs.
This proposal calls on the Icelandic government to “take necessary measures to label imported products that were manufactured in the occupied Palestinian territories in an appropriate manner” and “implore Palestinians to take advantage of the free trade agreement between the European Free Trade Association and Palestine.”
The proposal – submitted by the Left-Greens and co-signed by MPs from the party, the Pirates and the Social Democrats – reasons that there is an important distinction to be made between products from Israel and products from the occupied territories.
“Iceland has never – not more than the UN – recognised [Israeli] settlements [in Palestine] as a part of the state of Israel,” the proposal reasons in part. “Therefore, Israel should not be the labeled country of origin for products that were manufactured in these settlements.”
The proposal points out that Denmark’s agricultural ministry has already put similar regulations into effect, while similar proposals are in the preparations stages in the UK, South Africa, and other countries.
At the same time, the proposal would encourage the Palestinian Authority to take advantage of the free trade agreement they have with EFTA. This agreement “covers trade in industrial products as well as fish and marine products. In addition, bilateral agricultural agreements between the individual EFTA countries and the PLO for the Benefit of the Palestinian Authority have been concluded which form part of the instruments creating the free trade area.”