Extensive guide for Israeli-linked product boycott omits social media platforms?

THE movement to boycott products and businesses that have alleged links to Israel has not let up – and if anything seems to be gaining traction – if online reports are to be believed.

The most recent example is news that a McDonald’s outlet in Kelantan was facing closure due to the boycott campaign. Many popular franchises, including KFC and Starbucks are also facing backlash, especially in Malay-Muslim majority areas.

However, an issue that has been constantly raised is how legitimate are the lists of companies circulating on the internet.

There is a now a guide published by pro-Palestine website – The Witness. It conveniently lists brands by 24 category complete with further justification for their inclusion with a ‘Why?’ segment furnished with ‘proof’ section.

The website does inform potential boycotters to note that the list is not exhaustive and is constantly being updated.

What is disconcerting is the sheer number of companies that boycotters will need to avoid if they truly wish to make their actions felt. Under the “healthcare” section, for instance, close to 30 brands are listed, including many household staples:

Even Unicef is not spared as it is named and shamed under the category of “charities”.

Under the ‘tech’ category, there are also a long list of well-known brands to be avoided.

What is surprising is the omission of a number of social media platforms which have been accused of whitewashing the Israel-Hamas conflict by banning pro-Palestine content. Tik Tok, YouTube and Facebook come to mind.

Even then the question that arises can this boycott really work given so many rely on many of these products and services daily.

Can a person really avoid using Microsoft applications, especially at work? It is one thing to switch your eating habits by boycotting certain fast-food franchises but it is quite another when it is an essential service such as Google.

The list provides a useful guide for those wanting to make their actions felt in the on-going Israel-Hamas conflict. But it does underline the mammoth task if such a boycott is to have long lasting effect. – Dec 26, 2023

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