Gothenburg’s administrative court halts Israel boycott

The situation in Gaza

Published 26 June 2024
- By Editorial Staff
The City Hall of Gothenburg, where the politicians of the city work.

The ruling red-green parties in Gothenburg decided to stop all purchases from Israel and Russia, arguing that “taxpayers’ money should not be used to financially support occupying powers”. The administrative court has now overturned the decision.

– Israel is engaged in an illegal occupation of the West Bank, which has only been exacerbated by the widespread killing of civilians in Gaza, argues Jonas Attenius (S), chairman of the municipal board.

On June 13, the Purchasing and Procurement Committee decided to stop buying products from these countries, to exclude the purchase of goods produced by Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land and to “come back with proposals on how to minimize the purchase of goods produced in states that are involved in the illegal occupation of other states”.

However, both the Sweden Democrats and the Liberals opposed the decision, arguing that it was illegal – citing the fact that it is the government, not the municipalities, that makes decisions on foreign policy issues.

The administrative court in Gothenburg has now agreed with them and decided to suspend the boycott decision while the case is pending before the administrative court. They write, among other things, that “there are strong reasons to believe that the board’s decision to, among other things, stop purchasing products labeled with the origin of certain states is illegal”.

“Anti-Semitism pure and simple”

SD city councillor Jörgen Fogelklou was one of those who went furthest in his criticism of Gothenburg’s leadership, claiming that by boycotting Israel, S, V and MP “are now showing their true colours and openly working to fuel anti-Semitism and escalating hatred against Jews”.

He went on to claim that “anti-Semitism is spreading at an alarming rate in Gothenburg” and accused the Left Party’s county branch in Angered of “openly showing hatred against the Jews”.

When reporters asked him if there were also “anti-Semites” in Gothenburg’s city council, he said that this was indeed the case.

– Yes, of course, this proposal is anti-Semitism pure and simple… If this proposal had been made a few years ago, maybe it wouldn’t have been, it’s the timeline that decides, he says.

Aron Verständig, president of the Central Council of Jews, also praised the Administrative Court’s decision, saying it was “positive” that the “illegal boycott decision” had been stopped.

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