Oct 27, 2010

#BDS: The Palestine Buy-cott

Olives are one of Palestine's primary crops

The first official boycott of Israel was spearheaded by the Arab League immediately after Israel was established in 1948. In 2005 Palestinian Civil Society issued a call for boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel complies with International Law, and universal principles of human rights. Since then that call has been endorsed by hundreds of organizations which aim to challenge Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people.

Consumers boycott Israeli products, such as Ahava skin-care products made from Dead Sea mud, or Israeli dateswhich are the most profitable crop of many Israeli settlements. Musicians such as Elvis Costello and Carlos Santana cancelled concerts in Israel. Organizations like US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO) and US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) compile and circulate lists of brand names and corporations that aid Israel. These include Caterpillar Inc.that produces the armored bulldozers used to demolish Palestinian homes, or Motorola which manufactures missile guidance systems in aerial drones, and surveillance systems used in checkpoints and along the apartheid wall.

Boycotts have been instrumental in effecting political change, such as its successful use as a tool to end South African apartheid. But many find it virtually impossible to avoid all the companies on the list. For those who can't give up that morning Starbucks, or that Coca-Cola with dinner there is another tool in the economic arsenal. In addition to boycotting Israel, you can buy Palestine. Despite the Palestinian economy being stifled by Israeli policies, Palestinians continue to farm, and produce a wide variety of products which can be purchased on a number of websites.

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