Calls increase to BOYCOTT major corporations for supporting Israeli genocide against Palestinian civilians
The Israeli economy is already suffering from the country’s actions in Gaza, with the shekel reaching a 14-year low and its benchmark stock index dropping 10 percent. With the possibility of a long war ahead that could potentially expand to other fronts, Israel’s economic downturn could be severe, with one economist predicting the economy will shrink by 15 percent in the last quarter of this year.
In addition, calls are growing to boycott companies based in Israel as well as major global corporations that support Israel and its settlement activity. One longstanding campaign that has been gaining traction as the media is flooded with images of civilians in Gaza suffering is BDS, which stands for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions. This Palestinian-led movement aims to exert non-violent pressure on Israel through economic boycotts of companies associated with Israel and its occupation of Arab lands.
Here is a look at some of the companies that are facing boycotts by BDS and other groups in the wake of the current violence in the region.
Hewlett-Packard – The tech company most famous for its printers helps to run a biometric ID system used by Israel to restrict the movements of Palestinians. They also provide the IDF with computer hardware. For its part, HP claims it does “not take sides in political disputes between countries or regions.”
McDonald’s – A franchise of McDonald’s in Israel offered free food to Israeli soldiers, which led to a major consumer backlash and calls for boycotts. Protestors have also released mice into some McDonald’s locations in the UK. It is important to note, however, that this was not a move by the company itself and that McDonald’s uses a franchise model; some franchisees have distanced themselves from the matter, and McDonald’s has donated $1 million to the Red Cross and the World Food Program.
Burger King – Burger King is also facing boycott calls after posting photos on Instagram showing the fast food restaurant giving free meals to Israeli soldiers. The caption, when translated to English, read: “We went out to strengthen the nation Israel. Our teams are working diligently to continue donating thousands of meals to our heroes. Burger King sends condolences to the families of the victims.” This prompted immediate backlash on social media, and the BDS movement joined the criticism of Burger King Israel while pointing out that Papa Johns, Pizza Hut and Domino’s had also “made generous donations to Israel’s genocidal military.”
Puma – This top global sportswear company is the Israel Football Association’s main sponsor. This association includes teams from Israeli settlements on occupied land. Hundreds of Palestinian sports clubs have called for the company to stop sponsoring the IFA to no avail, despite Puma’s marketing as a company that supports equality. Competitor Adidas stopped sponsoring the IFA.
AXA – The French multinational insurance company is targeted for boycotts because of its investments in Israeli banks complicit in Israeli settlements, three of which were listed by the UN Human Rights Council in a database of businesses involved in illegal settlements by Israel.
Starbucks – Starbucks drew the ire of many when it sued its union, Starbucks Workers United, after it posted a message on X expressing its solidarity with Palestinians. This post prompted calls to boycott the coffee chain after some people mistakenly interpreted it as the company’s viewpoint. The union has counter-sued in response.
Ahava Cosmetics – This natural cosmetics brand that makes products with active minerals from the Dead Sea is also being boycotted because its main store and production site are situated in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.
In light of these boycotts, many companies and CEOs have decided not to weigh in on the war to avoid alienating customers and losing business, demonstrating the financial power that these movements hold.
Sources for this article include: