Successful Boycott targets Israel and its Supporters Worldwide Featured

By Gamal Khattab May 06, 2024 3506


The boycott against companies backing Israel, like Starbucks, McDonald's, KFC, Carrefour, and others, is growing in popularity worldwide, particularly in Arab and Islamic nations. This boycott has become a common way to show disapproval of Israeli occupation and aggression globally.

Boycotting as a cultural practice in Jordan.

Carrefour shuttered some of its stores in Jordan. Starbucks shut down a branch in Amman, Jordan due to boycott campaigns against Israel and companies supporting it, leading many American and Western brands to cut production, reduce hours, and lay off employees.

In different cities in Jordan, well-known restaurants and cafes like McDonald's, KFC, Burger King, and Pizza Hut are now deserted by customers, despite being full before the boycott. Famous brands like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and Nestle are now sitting in stores untouched, as Jordanians have started purchasing local products instead.

Media activist Shorouk Tomar, who is part of the Boycott Movement - Jordan Group (BDS), believes that the Jordanian people's response to the Israeli aggression on Gaza has led to a significant success in boycott campaigns in Jordan. This reaction has evolved beyond just a response to becoming ingrained in societal culture, shaping both political and cultural stances.

Shorouk explained, "Jordanians are choosing not to purchase items from brands that endorse the Zionist entity, even when no other options are present. This trend is noticeable across all segments of society, including children, marking a new phenomenon."

According to Majd Al-Farraj, a member of the Movement to Support the Resistance and Confront Normalization, the Jordanian street experienced boycott campaigns in the past, which turned into popular uprisings whenever the Zionist entity attacked. He believes that the situation has changed since October 7. Regarding the Palestinian population.

He stated that after October 7, there was a noticeable shift in the Arab and Jordanian public's support for boycotting Zionist products, companies, and countries backing the Zionist enemy.

Tomar noted that the boycott greatly aided local products in Jordan, leading to increased support for domestic goods. Local companies began offering alternatives to the boycotted product, prompting Jordanian consumers to explore various domestic options. If the product from another country is not better than what is already being used, and if there is no previous knowledge of its existence due to a reliance on or routine purchase of the foreign product.

She went on to say, "Numerous local producers and manufacturers are now focusing on improving the quality of their products to rival foreign options and satisfy the demands of the public and customers."

Al-Farraj stated that the lack of transparency from Carrefour and Starbucks makes it difficult to determine the exact number of branches closed in Jordan. We are aware that 7 branches of the Carrefour store chain have been shut down, and there are rumors that have not been confirmed. The closure of 4 additional branches was announced, and Starbucks shut down its branch in Amman's Jabal Al-Lweibdeh area.

Concerning the effect of the boycott on Jordanian workers, as many boycotted companies terminated the employment of numerous workers, Ahmed Awad from the Phoenix Center for Economic Studies in Amman stated: "While there are no official figures on the layoffs, there are rough estimates." At the onset of the conflict, government and official agencies predicted that approximately 15,000 workers were at risk of losing their jobs as a result of the boycott.

Awad states in a conversation with a news network that, "I, as an impartial observer, can verify that the figures have been greatly inflated after 7 months of the embargo, as those who lost their jobs in international firms were able to find positions in the domestic market and local organizations." The boycott helped a certain group increase sales as the market recovered, and while some were still affected, the impact was minimal and not significant.

Boycott by Arab nations

The boycott wasn't just in Jordan, but also included many Arab nations. In Egypt, Reuters quoted an unidentified source in McDonald's management in the country as saying that Egyptian franchise sales dropped by a minimum of 70% in October and November compared to the previous year.

In Morocco, many Moroccan people openly express support for the Palestinian people and condemn Israeli attacks on Gaza, contributing to a prevalent culture of boycott. Al-Jazeera Net has observed a decrease in the popularity of the boycotted brands, in comparison to their status before the beginning of the Israeli attack on Gaza. Gaza led to branches of global brands rejecting support for Israel and introducing appealing promotions to draw in customers.

In Kuwait, numerous Kuwaiti and resident families are determined to refrain from purchasing items from businesses that endorse the occupation, opting instead to find alternatives in the domestic market, resulting in a decrease in sales for these companies.

 Numerous customers and visitors of restaurants and cafes were eager to refrain from buying items associated with boycotts and were systematically checking their phone apps to confirm whether the products were included in the boycott.

The worldwide achievements of the boycott...Malaysia and Indonesia serve as a demonstration.

The boycott movement spans across various countries globally, not just limited to Arab nations. 108 Kentucky restaurant branches in Malaysia have shut down due to a widespread boycott, along with smaller closures of Pizza Hut, Starbucks, and McDonald's outlets. Stratfor reports that there is no set timeframe for when these locations will reopen.

The Financial Times reported that General Atlantic and CVC Capital Partners have also stopped selling significant multi-million dollar stakes in companies that run American fast food brands in Malaysia and Indonesia, as a result of turmoil caused by protests and boycotts.

Consumers in Indonesia and Malaysia, which are dominated by Muslims, have been shunning American brands since the beginning of the Israeli aggression on Gaza last October, with brands like Starbucks, KFC, and Pizza Hut specifically being singled out due to the backing they receive from Washington for Israel.

General Atlantic put a temporary stop to the sale of its 20% ownership in Map Boga Adiperkasa, the company running Starbucks, in the previous December. The estimated worth of the ownership share in the company, one of the biggest fast food franchise operators in Indonesia, is approximately $54 million.

CVC Capital Partners, a major private equity firm in Europe, halted the sale of its 21% stake in QSR Brands, a Malaysian company that operates KFC and Pizza Hut chains, because of the boycott. The stake was valued at over 1.2 billion Malaysian ringgit ($252 million), and the suspension of share sales by global private equity groups highlights the impact of the boycott in a Muslim-majority region with 250 million residents.

According to a parliamentary source reported by Reuters, in Turkey, the Turkish Parliament excluded Coca-Cola and Nestlé products from its restaurants due to "public anger" against the two brands.

Numerous Turks also refuse to buy Israeli products or products from its affiliated companies.

The trend of boycott is growing in many countries globally, escalating with ongoing Israeli aggression towards Palestinians in Gaza.

"Declining it" app in favor of the boycott

An application supporting Palestine, designed to assist in boycotting products that aid Israel, has become popular on the “Tik Tok” platform. Palestinian graduate student Ahmed Babash introduced the free app, named "No Thanks", in November, receiving widespread attention.

In just one month, the app was downloaded by 100,000 users who can scan a product's barcode to check for links to Israel. In early April, the website "No Shukran" announced that one million individuals had installed the app.

Users can easily use the app by scanning the product's barcode or typing in its name. Within moments, they will see the level of support the manufacturer provides to Israel. The app will then show the message "No, thank you," encouraging users not to purchase products from these companies.

Lists of companies that deserve to be avoided consist of globally recognized brands like Adidas, McDonald's, Chanel, Pizza Hut, among others. Social media feedback suggests that individuals globally, from India to Belgium, are intrigued by the application.

Ahmed Babash, the app developer, mentioned to the DW platform that he hails from Gaza as a Palestinian and is presently residing in Hungary. Babash mentioned that he lost his brother during the Israeli massacre in Gaza, and his sister passed away in 2020 due to lack of timely medical assistance from Israel.

Babash stated that he undertook the task in honor of his deceased brother and sister, victims of the oppressive occupation, with the aim of ensuring that no other Palestinian suffers the same fate as he did.

Other apps like the "My Cause" app also encourage and support boycotts, alongside the global proliferation of boycott campaigns on social media.


Last modified on Monday, 13 May 2024 13:00