Letter to the Iceland Embassy in Washington, DC

Readers Corner

Letter to the Iceland Embassy in Washington, DC

To Whom It May Concern:

My wife and I are retired businesspeople and members of a fifty couple (one hundred person) travel group that once a year takes a multination trip. And we decide on what places to visit based on recommendations from members and friends.

This year, on the recommendation of a couple who participated in a recent tour of Iceland and couldn’t wait to return, we planned such a tour — anywhere from five days to a week — as the first stop on this year’s trip which departs from Boston.

However, having just heard of the Reykjavík’s City Council’s decision to impose a boycott on Israel, we will cancel or plans to visit Iceland, and those of us either still active in business or influential with the companies we either previously owned or worked for, will put forth every effort to boycott Icelandic travel, goods and services in every corner of the United States in which Jewish and Christian Americans live and work.

The condemnation of Israel as an “apartheid state” is absurd on its face and indicates a complete ignorance of the nation and the most basic tenets of Judaism, as well as the peaceful aspirations and decency of the Israeli people.

If, for example – and God forbid a thousand times – a volcano erupted in Iceland causing injury to a large numbers of people, upon word of such an event, an Israeli jumbo jet filled with basic supplies, but more importantly fourteen emergency operating rooms and scores of the finest doctors and nurses in the word, would be in the air and on its way to Iceland, as it has so many times times before to nations in need.

Though on occasion, it's been turned away by governments of Islamic nations who put a hateful, medieval ideology ahead of their own peoples’ lives, actually allowing hundreds die, as opposed to being saved by Israeli (or Jewish) medical professions.

So perhaps this ill-informed decision by the Council is merely good old-fashioned anti-Semitism, as it is not rooted in logic of fact.

I will stop here, rather than going on for several thousand more words to protest an action not worthy of a reply, other than to say it will cost Iceland far more dearly than Israel.

But please know, and inform the members of the City Council, that every time they use their cellphones, go online, visit a hospital, go to the dentist, have their eyes examined or see an oncologist, they are using Israeli technology created for the greater good of humankind.

Perhaps the next time Reykjavík’s City Council wishes to fire a rockets into an old age home or nursery school, they can purchase the equipment and technology from their friends, the Palestinians.

Or, why not save the Icelandic Government the cost of dealing with a middleman? They can just go directly to the supplier: the Iranian mullahs.

Mark and Karen Cohen

Brookline, MA
United States