1. What is the boycott?
The boycott of Israeli products and companies supporting the Zionist entity is about ordinary people around the world using their right to choose what they buy in order to help bring about an end to oppression in Palestine. It’s a peaceful means of putting international pressure on racist state of Israel and follows in the footsteps of the successful boycott against South African racist apartheid.
2. Who supports the boycott?
People of good conscience around the world support the boycott, including trade unions like unison (UK’s largest with 1.4m members), and Christian Aid who have demanded an end to EU-Israel trade agreement. Jewish groups B’Tselem and Gush Shalom have initiated their own boycott of Israeli goods. Among Muslims, Ulema from every school of thought have given clear fatwas supporting the boycott.
3. These companies operate in Muslim lands – isn’t the boycott going to harm us?
Whilst Muslims will loose jobs if these companies pulled out, it must be seen as an opportunity for something better. Coca cola, hit by the boycott, its sales are down 60% in the mid-east. This has created an opportunity for a Muslim alternative, ZamZam cola of Iran, to take Coca-Colas market share. In its first week it exceeded all expectations by selling 4mil cans. To meet demand its building factories in the Gulf States, helping create local jobs. It’s even exporting to Europe for the first time!
Delta Galil – Israelis textile giant whose clothes carry the labels GAP, cK, BOSS, M&S, and DKNY among others – has factories in Jordan and Egypt in addition to Palestine. Their treatment of Arab workers is such that Sweatshop Watch has denounced them as “Sweatshop Czar”. Is it really a loss to us to see such companies go?
4. Does the boycott work?
Yes! One of the companies hardest hit – McDonalds – is a “major corporate partner” of the Jewish United Fund which “works to maintain American military, economic, and diplomatic support for Israel”. McDonalds Chair and CEO, Jack Greenberg, is an honorary director of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce. Since the launch of the boycott, 2 out of 6 Jordan’s McDonalds have had to close. In Egypt, McDonald’s in a failed attempt to dodge the boycott changed its brand name to Man foods in Oct ’02. McDonalds announced defeat and closed all its 175 outlets in the mid-east at a loss of USD 350 M, its also replacing Greenberg.
With giants like McDonalds crumbling under pressure of boycott, smaller companies are weary of supporting Israel. The Jerusalem Post was donating its slice of profits derived from a partnership with the internet bookstore amazon.com to Israeli soldiers returning from the occupied territories. Their advert read “Buy Amazon.com & Support Israel”. Inundated with calls for boycott, amazon.com severed its ties with the paper (Nov ’02), demanding all adverts be removed and vowed not to hand over anymore profits.
Other companies, disgusted by Israel’s actions have themselves joined the boycott. In May ’02, a US auto part company refused to do business with Israel. In a reply to a purchase order from Israel, Texas Automotive Export wrote: “We must inform you that Texas Export will not do business with Israeli citizens at this time. We urge you to rein in your military and stop your oppression of the Palestinian people. Your country has loss the respect of the civilized world.”
Afraid that companies will abandon Israel, the US Department of Commerce has fined US companies to USD 26 M and refused export licenses as punishment for supporting the boycott – so much for democracy and a right to choose who to do business with!-
5. Can the boycott hurt Israel’s economy?
Israel’s economy is on the verge of total collapse. In January ’03, Sharon begged Bush for USD 15 billion in emergency aid (this in addition to the annual USD 3 billion Israel receives). Inflation is sky rocketing – even official figures are over 4 times their target. All basic living costs from food, rent, fuel bills and VAT have been raised. Unemployment is soaring, resulting in a series of crippling general strikes – the last one bringing the country to a standstill -, airports shutdown, radio and TV broadcasts stopped, hospitals only dealing with emergencies, and streets pilled up with the uncollected garbage. Foreign investment, a life-line for Israel, has also dried up. Investors have lost USD 5 billion of the USD 6.5 billion invested in Israel between 1999 and 2001.Israel is so short of money that its cost cutting includes shutting down several embassies and consulates around the world! At this critical time, the importance of the global boycott of Israel and the collaborating companies that give its life-line cannot be overemphasized. Israel is counting every penny – every penny matters – ensure yours don’t go to Israel.
THE COMPANIES THAT SUPPOT ISRAELI APPARTHEID: Starbuck Coffee, Nestlé, Nescafé, Nesquik, Perrier, Vittel, Maggi, Carnation, Libby’s Milkmaid, Buitoni Crosse & Blackwell, KitKat, Shreddies, Felix Cat Food, Polo.
ISRAELI COMPANY AND PRODUCTS SOLD UNDER THESE LABELS: M&S, Hema, GAP, Carrefour, Auchan, Tchibo, Structure, Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic, Pryca, Lindex, J-Crew, J.C. Penny, DKNY, Ralph Lauren, DIM, Calvin Klein (cK), Hugo Boss, Playtex, River Island, Johnson & Johnson, Caterpillar, Timberland, McDonald’s, Nokia, Marks & Spencer, Selfridges & Co., Intel, IBM, Revlon, Motorola, Siemens, AOL, Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Stila Precriptives, Aveda Origins, MAC, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Jane Kate Spade, Jo Malone, Bumble and Bumble, Tommy Hilfiger, L’Oréal, Giorgio Armani, Redken 5th Avenue, Lancome Paris, Vichy Cacharel, Garnier, La Roche-Posay, Helena Rubinstein, Maybelline, Biotherm Carson, Ralph Lauren, Danone, Strauss Dairy, Evian, Jacob Biscuits, Volvic, HP Foods, Lea & Perrins Galbani, LU Biscuits, Coca Cola Company (Coca Cola, Sprite, Fanta), Dr. Pepper, Sunkist, Fruitopia, Lilt, Kia Oram Schweppes, Sara Lee, Hanes, Champion, Bali Lovable, Nur Die, Just My Size, Dim, Wonderbra, Leggs, Gossard, Douwe Egberts, Maison Café, Pickwick Tea, Ambi Pur, Outer Banks, Sanex, Radox, Pilao, Body Mist, Kiwi, Brylcreem, Aqua Velva, Kimberly-Clark, Kleenex, Andrex, Kotex, Huggies, Disney.