Maldives to boycott Israeli products, annul bilateral agreements

The Government of Maldives has today announced the boycott of Israeli products and the annulment of bilateral agreements with the country.

“President Yameen and the Maldivian citizens are with the Palestinian people”, said Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon at a press conference this afternoon.

Dunya also announced that the Maldives would join other Arab nations in co-sponsoring a resolution at this week’s special session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) calling for the protection of an independent Palestinian state and the extension of humanitarian aid.

As well as an admittedly “symbolic” boycott of Israeli products, three agreements – signed in 2009 under the administration of President Mohamed Nasheed – would now be annulled, explained the foreign minister.

The agreements involved cooperation in areas of health, culture and education, and tourism.

“I do not think Maldivians want any help from Israel or want to keep up relations with Israel. So from now on, the agreements have been annulled,” she said.

While she noted that neither that former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom nor the current government believed in maintaining such relations, she stopped short of announcing the severing of diplomatic ties.

Criticising Nasheed for having established diplomatic relations with Israel, Dunya said that his current statements in support of the Palestinians could not now be accepted.

Addressing the UN General Assembly in 2009, Nasheed argued that renewed diplomatic relations with Israel would be used to reiterate the Maldives’ support for a two state solution.


Acknowledging the impact of the Maldives’ boycott would be small, Dunya today noted that other small nations had done likewise with symbolic acts that had been appreciated by the Palestinian government.

“Even though what we give is small or symbolic, the way it is received is important. The message we want to give is we are with the Palestinian people,” said Dunya.

Explaining the boycott, Mohamed Hussain ‘Mundhu’ Shareef, minister at the President’s Office, said the government would soon announce a moratorium on the import of Israeli goods into the country after discussions with the Ministry of Economic Development and Maldives Customs Services.

While the government is calling on businessmen to join the boycott, it will still be possible for some Israeli products to enter the Maldives as the country does not check for the country of origin or manufacturers of imported products. Even so, the government will remove such products from shops in accordance with the Customs Act.

Shareef said that the Maldives may consider lifting the moratorium if the Israeli government’s violation of international resolutions stop.

Regarding other economic links, he noted that there were few tourists arriving in the Maldives from Israel and that there were no Israeli investments in the country.

“Israeli investment is not important for us. We want investments from countries with human rights practices that are acceptable to us,” said Shareef.

Israeli tourists – numbering 2,569 in 2013 – constituted 0.3 percent of total tourist arrivals. In June 2014, 254 Israeli tourists visited Maldives, a 72 percent increase from 12 months earlier.

Domestic pressure

At home, the government remains under pressure from both the opposition and civil society who have called for bolder action concerning the recent escalation of violence in Gaza.

After the opposition leader Nasheed called on human rights defenders to raise their voices against “indiscriminate killings in Gaza”, his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) held a rally on July 12 in Malé criticising the government’s initial silence.

On the same day, President Abdulla Yameen phoned Palestinian President Dr Mahmoud Abbas to condemn “Israel’s inhuman actions”, and pledged to do everything necessary in the international arena to aid Palestinians.

Days later, thousands of Maldivians from all sides of the political spectrum gathered across the country to rally in protest against the Israeli offensive.

Nasheed has since called on MDP members to take the initiative and go to Gaza in order to act as a “human shields” protecting Palestinians.

Those who organised the nationwide rally are currently circulating a petition to be submitted to the People’s Majlis calling for a resolution to be passed by MPs.

Speaking to Minivan News, a member of the group said that over 8000 signatures had been collected in just two evenings. Working alongside civil society organisations in the atolls and local councils, many more were expected.

A second online petition has also been launched calling on the government to use Maldives’ seat in the UN HRC to request an investigation into human rights violations in Israel and Palestine and to hold discussions to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

The religious conservative Adhaalath Party, along with 11 civil society organisations, had established a donation fund to assist Palestinians affected by the ongoing conflict.


34 thoughts on “Maldives to boycott Israeli products, annul bilateral agreements”

  1. And what would country do under similar circumstances- turn over your country to the terrorists.

  2. It's a very noble gesture, unfortunately it's not like the Israeli economy is going to collapse tomorrow.
    We need more powerful economies on board.

    Why don't the minister get into dialogue with fellow Muslim countries to try achieve something more meaningful.

  3. It seems that some Maldivians think that the Israeli-Palestinian issue is a religious issue affecting all Muslims. In fact, that is not the case.

    It's simply a question of land ownership. There are significant numbers of non-Muslim Palestinians, i.e. Christians who are equally affected by this issue.

    Whilst Muslims may claim that Jerusalem belongs to us, Jews also do have historical claims on that city given that Jewish Temples stood there even before the time of Islam. The same is true for Christians. Clearly, there won't be a lasting solution whereby one group has exclusive rights over this city.

    Last, but not least, it is unacceptable for Maldivian politicians to try to score domestic political points on the back of the plight of the Palestinian people. Gayyoom maintained diplomatic ties with Israel and so did Nasheed and so does the present government. Egypt, Gayyoom's spiritual homeland maintains the closest of ties with Israel on all fronts, including an agreement with Israel to keep Gaza locked up!

    If the present government wants to score points, then why not sever diplomatic ties and bar Israeli tourists from coming here? After all, that's the only significant form of trade between the two countries.

  4. I am sure the Israelis are absolutely gutted at your decision to boycott their products!!.....but seeing that their economy is many times greater than yours, I am sure they couldn't give a damn either.
    Instead of sending the little money that you have to the Palestinians.....I suggest you all go on jihad to Gaza, starting with the bearded members of the Islamic Ministry. When you get there, you can be the 'human shield' that will put the wind up the Israelis.
    Stop serving Jaffa Orange Juice to your tourists for breakfast and hang a banner in your airport arrival hall saying ISRAELI TOURISTS NOT WELCOME.
    Israeli tourists reading this are welcome to switch to Indian resorts.

  5. More Muslims are being killed and persecuted in Myammer. But everyone talking Gaza Gaza, which is not even a Muslim issue

    This shows how easy it is to manipulate the public and use Islam in false pretext - shame

  6. It beggars belief that a news website that reports on and around events in the Maldives allows some of the comments that are published here.

    Not only do they fall foul of basic human decency (given the plight of defenceless men, women and children on both sides), but also falls foul of local laws.

    The Maldivian government ought to very seriously look into this news web site and their agenda. I think there comes a time when enough is enough.

    Let's see whether you will publish this!

    1. @ali I am unaware of the comments to which you refer. Please contact us directly regarding any specific complaints, and highlight which laws have been broken.

      As I'm sure you can understand the difficult decisions we have to make every day regarding the regulation of comments. For instance, for this post alone we have had to reject comments that included racism, profanity, and even holocaust-denial.

      Our 'agenda' is allow free and open debate on our comments section. This is not helped by such calls for legal action each time you see a comment that is not to your liking - this is tantamount to censorship. Additionally, I recommend you take a look at the comments published on other media outlets before singling Minivan News out for specific criticism.

      This comment section is here to provide a forum in which people can see all shades of opinion. It is our duty to ensure we do not publish comments defaming Islam or the prophet, inciting violence, or slandering any individual. It is not our job to shelter people from others' opinions.

      Let's see whether you reply to this!

  7. It's a good step.We should support our brothers .But not only by boycotting their products.we should send our army to help Palestine .

  8. The massacres are heart breaking.

    But, why are mordisians taking this action?

    Looking at historical facts, the battles, wars, genocide has been going on for a long long time.

    One of the reasons for the guidance from above, in 600 AD, was that those were the darkest of times, and men needed direction.

    Realistically, the past few centuries had seen the worst genocides ever committed by man kind. Under the flimsy topping, religion is used as a tool to carry out most of them.

    My question is despite the scores of duas that we make, have we ever seen or felt the hand from above, stifle the atrocities happening?

    I don't see it.

    If the base premise is true, it's not Mordisians who should ban their products, it should be from above.

    Makes you wonder; think; are we really on the path of the light, or are we following ignorance of the dark ages.

    This should really be simple! But...

  9. I condemn the occupation, the war crimes and the violation of human rights of the people of Gaza, by the Government of Israel.

  10. @Missindia. Its not important the amount of money and how badly it will affect Israel . THis is symbolic thing to do.

    MissIndia, its best that you focus on advocating to stop daily raping happening in your country specially children.

    Its best that you try to provide clean water for 60% of your population who does not have them.

    Its best that you try to provide basic health and education for those 60% of your population does not have access to these basic human needs.

    Don't bother about Maldives, we dont need you to tell us what to do .

  11. The government in its attempt to show to the public that they are more pro-Palestine/Gaza than former Prez Nasheed & MDP is making a serious blunder.

    Prez Nasheed with one pro Gaza tweet sparked off this cycle of "one up man" game between the government, MDP and the religious fundamentalist Adhaalath Party. All 3 groups are furiously trying to score political points by portraying themselves as more "religious" by playing this Gaza game.

    While I do agree that there is wide spread concern and sympathy amongst Maldivians at the plight of Palestinians and specially what the people of Gaza are currently enduring, some of the more dramatic political theatre that we see is directed at the local population by those with an eye on the next Presidential election.

    The banning of Israeli goods and annulment of bilateral agreements by Maldives is a knee jerk reaction by the government that does not seem to see the big picture nor has any clear idea of our own national interests .

  12. As @haleem says this is a 'man up' domestic political game played in Maldives to score political points. Nothing to do with Gaza. even the long term economic impact of Maldives tourism is ignored

    It's not like Gaza was sieged last week. All cheap Maldives political drama and as usual using the herds

  13. Noticed a lot of different view on subject but it’s easy to pick who has the intellectual ability to talk sense like comments from @mohammed and @Haleen as well as a few others, compared to the ridiculers accusation from @ali don’t now way ( suffering from brain disorder)(dilution )(ore feel personally affected by discussion)

  14. What does it mean acting as a “human shields” protecting Palestinians ?

  15. I guess MDP and PPM must be now happy.
    One time where the Oppositions and Government agreed and did do something.

  16. You can boycott Israeli, and also you have been praying to almighty for last 60 years to destroy Israel, but the fact remain the same; you can’t harm Israeli, what matters in the material world is power, Israeli has technology, money, and intelligent people and strong friends that is what you need to survive. A symbolic gesture or praying would never end suffering of Palestinians. There is only one solution; accept Israelis has the right to live as a nation in their promised land. If you think Allah will recues Palestine, you should give up that hope , If this is God’s play then there is no doubt God is on Israeli side, If I am a believer of existence of any God, I would definitely become a Jewish. In either case be it divine or materialistic, the triumph is on Israeli side. Palestinian have to accept the pie of their share and work another hundred years to defeat Israel economically and intellectually to wipe out Jewish people even such a time come Palestinians and Israelis may become one entity rather two elements like fire and water

  17. Indeed it is a symbolic action by the Maldivian Government to boycott Israeli products. I do not agree this as purely a religious matter, rather it is a matter of protecting a population of Gaza who is held in an open prison well over many years under Israeli occupation. It is a shame to the so called human rights advocating organisations and countries like USA, Canada and most EU nations to stay watching when the whole occupied land has been attacked by sea, land and air. The suffering of people in Gaza are unimaginable for the narrow minded people and extremist Jews

  18. @ali stop smokin stuff u buy on the streets. this might maek those comments go away. ur welcome.

  19. Who the hell cares if the Maldives stops buying Israeli produce? If you told an Israeli this, he would laugh and say 'where on earth is the Maldives ?'
    Why is it that when you kill a Jew or terrorise a kuffar, it is JIHAD but when you get a missile up your ass, it is an ATROCITY?

  20. I don't have support either side in this never ending mess but Miss India's "missile up your..." comment is absolutely classic!

  21. If we are to boycott Israel, we'll have to close down the Airports, hospitals and phone networks too.

    And we're best friends with the US. This is PPM playing the TAKAA card.

  22. Maldives boycott the Israel's product today,but the Israel's allied countries will boycott the Maldives for a long long time either in tourism or supplying of imports. The solution to the conflict of Israel-Palestine is simple, the Hamas should stop the rocket fired to Israel & Israel will stop the siege in Gaza. its not a religion conflict, get over it.

  23. While I think its admirable for us to show our solidarity with the Palestinian civilians who bear the brunt of the Isreali attacks on Hamas, I think Maldivians are disengenous in singling out this one conflict.

    The religion of the victims nor that of the perpetrator should be a factor in expressing our outrage and solidarity where innocent children and people suffer.

    Nobody raised funds or took to the streets during the Darfur massacre, which was even more brutal and genocidal. I dont think I saw the Syrian flag burn either.

    While on a personal level I will boycott Isreali products (which are few here anyway), I will not join the anti-semitic bigots who think it's ok praise Hitler or call for the genocide against Jews.

    It is the small minded psyche of feelings of superiority combined with ineptitude in equal measure, which our collective Muslim Ummah has descended into, which casues Muslim suffering and Muslim inflicted suffering around the world.

  24. It does not matter how powerful a country is that joins the cause. It is our nations that profit the west and that is why they are present there. If every person does their bit you will have unity. Im sick and tired of hearing that people cannot do anything. Who made these countries powerful in the first place? NO UNITY. We cannot win with the same mindset that made our nations slave to their nations. What is going to fix the problem of the wests imperialism? UNITY

  25. The result of the vote was as follows:

    In favour (29): Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.

    Against (1): United States of America.

    According to this the only country that will Boycott Maldives will be USA. All those with negative comments do the math.

  26. funny you should take that move now, when only Israeli technology will be able to save your water and sewage in the upcoming

  27. This shows very little understanding of what products you will have to boycott. Micro-soft, IBM and the vast majority of computer software is developed and copyright owned by Israel.

    SO effectively you will need to shut down, your hospital, airport, business, schools, phone networks, TV broadcasting stations and anything else that uses the dual core processors that Israel manufactures.

    Very naïve to believe a boycott will affect anyone, but the thousands of Palestinians that work in their industries.

  28. Malaysia had already boycotted Israeli for a long time. And we did not had any problem with economy. Do not afraid Maldives.

  29. il faut isoler israel des de la planete ce ne sont pas des humains les sionistes sont des criminels alors autant les enfermer comme des fauves

  30. @sajad,get your priorities gazans are not the only Muslims,what is so special about Palestinian blood matter,yeah 850 dead in 2 weeks,but may i ask where the hell was your conscience and so called concern for muslims when more than 3 million killed in syria and iraq due to islamic extremism for the past 2 years or the million more who perished in algeria as a direct action of algerian extremists,unless your call is sincere and directly acting against extremists also,can your tears shed for humanity be sincere

  31. I guess the best thing about global warming is that this country will eventually end up underwater.


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