Amidst the beginning of the ongoing genocide and siege on Gaza, many of us wondered what we could do to send the world a clear message. Many of us wondered how we could ever possibly shake and disrupt the corridors of power. What many allies of Palestine soon realized is that through a collective effort of implementing targetted boycotts of specific companies and brands, we could exert economic pressure on businesses, industries, and governments that were complicit in the genocide of Gaza or collaborators with the colonial occupation called “Israel.”
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is at the core of the current global boycott campaign that is empowering consumers around the world to express unfettered solidarity with the Palestinian people (and by extension, Gaza) by punishing all corporations and businesses who are in affiliation with the settler-state of Israel. Economic boycotts like that which the BDS movement is currently imploring people around the world to follow are especially impactful because they raise awareness and shed light on the sinister ways that multinational corporations are directly complicit with the genocide occurring in Gaza and the illegal occupation of Palestine. The BDS movement has asked for support of Palestine to engage in “targeted” boycotts specifically, to incur financial losses on carefully selected companies to prompt the targeted company to address the concerns of the pro-Palestine movement. These companies are unique because they play a prominent role in Israel’s egregious and horrific crimes against humanity against Palestinians. The BDS movement relies on collective action and unity amongst pro-Palestine allies to create a more significant force for change.
That being said, here are some of the top brands and companies you should be boycotting and why:
Puma is guilty of directly investing with Israel through its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association. This brand must be boycotted until it ends its affiliation with the genocidal state.
Many may not be aware of what exactly SodaStream makes oftentimes when they see it on the boycott list. The Israeli company produces a carbonated water-making system and was recently acquired by the larger corporation, PepsiCo. SodaStream has a new factory that is actively displacing Palestinian Bedouins in the Naqab region of Palestine. The company is also known for its maltreatment and abuse of Palestinian laborers.
McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, etc.
It is paramount that these fast food chains are boycotted due to their complicit activity in Israel. For example, McDonald's has been documented for providing free food to the IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces) amid the current genocide, and so have the other named companies as well.
Marvel Studios which is owned by Disney is a direct contributor to the distribution of anti-Palestinian rhetoric and Israeli propaganda by its promotion of the upcoming Captain America film.
As we all know, the Starbucks boycott has been prominent in terms of the public sentiment towards the company, despite it not being on the BDS targetted boycotts list. That does not mean we shouldn't continue boycotting Starbucks though — the company is guilty in every sense of being complicit in the genocide of Palestinians and has even gone as far as suing a Starbucks labor union for posting about the Palestinian struggle on social media.
Airbnb and other travel and booking companies such as Booking.com and Expedia should be boycotted for their offering of rentals on stolen Palestinian land that has been illegally occupied by Israel. Moreso, AirBnb is notoriously known for tracing back on their commitment to remove listings in illegal Israeli settlements.
The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have bombed homes, schools, clinics, and more in Gaza and larger Palestine in the past using Amazon Web services and Google — particularly through a $1.22 billion contract these companies signed with the illegal occupation government of Israel. These tech companies have a direct hand in the genocide of Gaza by providing technological services to Israel and should be boycotted as part of the #NoTechForApartheid campaign.
The CEO of Sweetgreen, Jonathan Neman, has actively participated in the doxing of pro-Palestinian students on college campuses. This chain must be boycotted indefinitely and allies of Palestine should opt for alternative healthy-food chains or local restaurants in replacement of Sweetgreen.
Overall, the economic and financial boycott movement being spearheaded by BDS is important now more than ever as we strive to ensure a permanent ceasefire is reached in the illegal settler-state of Israel’s genocidal war against Gaza. When we hold ourselves accountable by following the targeted boycott and divestment guidelines set by BDS, we can contribute directly to pressuring Israel and its allies economically and politically. Moreover, following these boycotts is the key to a future of ethical consumerism and sustained activism. The BDS movement is a first step towards a free Palestine, Inshallah.