"We will not finance the massacres in Gaza.” How will the boycott of companies that support Israel expand? "We will not finance the massacres in Gaza.” How will the boycott of companies that support Israel expand?

"We will not finance the massacres in Gaza.” How will the boycott of companies that support Israel expand?

"We will not finance the massacres in Gaza.” How will the boycott of companies that support Israel expand?

Since the outbreak of the Israeli aggression on Gaza, a number of Western companies have expressed their support for the occupation and its army. On the other hand, the peoples of the world who support Palestine confronted this bias by declaring a boycott (of these companies), whose reach continues to expand.

Immediately following the Al-Aqsa Flood operation on October 7, the American fast food restaurant chain McDonald's in Israel was quick to announce its support for the Israeli occupation army, by sending thousands of free meals to army personnel, justifying this by saying that "it is its duty to engage with everyone in protecting "The country."

This is the same procedure as the French supermarket chain Carrefour, which also donated thousands of food baskets to Israeli soldiers, in order to support their war efforts during the aggression they are waging against Gaza.

The American coffee chain, Starbucks, was also involved in supporting Israel, by suppressing its workers’ solidarity with the Palestinian people. After the labor union published a statement condemning “all forms of occupation, displacement, apartheid, and the dangers of genocide that Palestinians face,” the parent company retaliated against them by filing a lawsuit in which it accused them of illegal use of its trademark.

In the face of these biased moves by Western companies, the peoples of Arab and Muslim countries, and even the pro-Palestine masses in the West, chose the weapon of boycott in response to their support for the occupation. This negatively affected its revenues, and prompted its departments to take action to save the situation.

The county's area is expanding

In a report , Reuters revealed that McDonald's chain restaurants in Cairo have become deserted, after they were bustling with customers a month ago. Pointing out that McDonald's, and a number of other Western companies, are all witnessing a popular, largely spontaneous, boycott campaign due to the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.

She added that the boycott campaign in Arab countries is expanding, and the impact of calls for it on social media has expanded, which “has prompted local consumers to search for locally made alternatives.”

The agency quoted Hossam Mahmoud, a member of the boycott movement in Egypt, as saying: “The scale of the aggression against the Gaza Strip is unprecedented. Therefore, the reaction, whether in the Arab or even international streets, is also unprecedented.”

Protesters demonstrated in the Lebanese capital outside a Starbucks branch, where they stood silently and distributed leaflets calling for a boycott campaign. In his statements to the Washington Post, Abdul Rahman Tayara, a university student who was among the protest participants, said: “We chose Starbucks to send a message.”

In Morocco, during the demonstrations denouncing the aggression against Gaza and demanding the abolition of normalization, calls to boycott the French Carrefour store chain were present. Speaking to Le Monde newspaper, Moroccan activist Kawthar Dazine denounced , “Carrefour donated thousands of food parcels to the soldiers of the occupation army, at a time when the residents of Gaza are subjected to bombing and a stifling siege.”

The French newspaper quoted the Moroccan anti-Zionist activist, Sion Acidon, as saying: “What we criticize about these companies is not only that they donate to the Israeli army, but above all that they are active inside the occupation settlements, which is what Carrefour has been doing, which has been doing business for years.” In the occupied territories, we demand an end to these activities.”

Even outside the Arab world, a boycott of Western companies supporting Israel is in effect. In Indonesia, large sectors responded to calls for a boycott. One of them was Adi Andrean, who told Al Jazeera English, “The McDonald's Family Meal was my favorite order, but now I don't go to McDonald's since we found out that McDonald's Israel was providing aid and discounts to the Israeli army.”

Earlier in November, the Turkish Parliament decided to boycott the products of companies that support the “Israeli aggression” on the Gaza Strip, and to destroy any of them in its possession.

In Europe and the United States as well, calls to boycott Western companies that support Israel are increasing. In France and Belgium, pro-Palestinian associations called for a boycott of Carrefour stores. A number of videos circulated on the TikTok platform showed empty McDonald's restaurants and Starbucks cafes in the United States, attributing this to the large response to the boycott campaign.

Who are the companies involved in the boycott?

The boycott concerns foreign companies that support Israel. According to a census conducted by Yale University, more than 150 Western companies declared their support for Israel following the Al-Aqsa Flood attack on October 7.

The international movement for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” against Israel (BDS) published an inventory of what it described as “Western companies that benefit from the massacres taking place in the Gaza Strip.” This inventory included Western companies with diverse activities, from technology to the automobile industry to restaurants, stores, and sportswear, including Google, McDonald's, Carrefour, Papa John's, Puma, and Volvo.

BDS called for a "targeted boycott approach", which was inspired by the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and the American civil rights movement. This method relies on targeting specific companies and influencing them more by focusing on boycotting them, in order to discourage other companies from continuing their relations with Israel.

In the same context, French human rights and labor organizations, including the “General Labor Union” and the “France in Solidarity with Palestine” association, previously published a detailed report on the mutual profitable relations between the “Label Vie” group, which owns the French Carrefour chain, and the Israeli government, which range from Building settlements and establishing Carrefour stores in the occupied territories.

What is the impact of the boycott on these companies?

The results of the boycott of Western companies have begun to appear, especially in the significant decline in demand for restaurants or cafes such as Starbucks and McDonald's. Reuters quoted an employee at McDonald's restaurants in Egypt, who declined to reveal his identity, as saying, "McDonald's Egypt sales in the months of October and November decreased by at least 70% compared to the same months last year."

Also in Malaysia, quoting the same agency, a worker at a McDonald's restaurant in Putrajaya, the country's administrative capital, said that the branch where he works receives 20% fewer customers.

As an indication that these companies feel the effects of the boycott, many of their branches in Arab countries were quick to publish statements disavowing support for Israel, and also launched attractive offers to promote their products.

According to advertising and marketing expert Thierry Bouckaert, the boycott is a very effective process, and it has “a short-term aspect, which affects the volume of sales. Then there is the long-term aspect, which is sometimes more harmful, as it affects the reputation and image of the brand for a long time.” 

The largest since the beginning of the war: 61 aid trucks headed to northern Gaza

The Palestinian Red Crescent announced, on Saturday, that a convoy of food relief aid, including 61 trucks, headed to areas north of the Gaza Strip, is the largest since the beginning of the war.

The Palestinian Red Crescent’s media director, Raed Al-Nims, said: “61 food relief aid trucks headed to Gaza City and the North Governorate.”

He added, "This convoy is the largest heading to the northern regions since the beginning of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip" on October 7.

Al-Nims pointed out that "this aid will be distributed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the World Health Organization, and volunteers from the Palestinian Red Crescent."

He stated that the total aid that will enter today through the Rafah land crossing is about 200 trucks, including fuel and cooking gas.

For his part, Muhammad Abu Musabih, Director of Ambulance and Emergency at the Red Crescent, said that aid will be delivered to two displaced communities in Gaza City and two other communities in the North Governorate.

Abu Musabih explained that this aid includes food, medical supplies and drinking water.

The Al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of the Hamas movement, said on Thursday: “The temporary humanitarian truce agreement with Israel includes the entry of 200 trucks per day of relief and medical supplies to all areas of the Gaza Strip.”

She indicated that 4 trucks of fuel and cooking gas will be brought daily (during the days of the truce) to all areas of the Gaza Strip.

Under normal circumstances, the sector's average need for goods was 500 trucks per day, in addition to the daily need for 400,000 liters of fuel (gasoline and diesel).

The temporary humanitarian truce agreement between Hamas and Israel includes the release of 50 Israeli prisoners from Gaza, in exchange for the release of 150 Palestinians from Israeli prisons.

Israel imposed a stifling embargo on the Gaza Strip that included preventing the entry of fuel, food and medicine, which exacerbated the humanitarian situation in light of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip that has been ongoing since last October 7.
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