Dec 18, 2010

#BDS: Marks & Spencer opening in Egypt revitalizes calls for boycott

<p>Protest against American chain stores in Egypt, Giza, September 23, 2010. Protesters with the Activists with Palestine Movement organized many protests in Mohandeseen and Dokki calling on citizens to boycott American outlets in support for Palestinian case. Protests are held simultaneously with protests in other eight European countries. Activists referred that many American outlets support Israel and allocate some of profits for war against Palestine.</p>

The boycott movement against Israeli products and services in Egypt is just over a decade old. Domestically, the movement is closely associated with the boycott of US goods and services, which began to gain momentum during the second Palestinian Intifada in September 2000 and again during the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
The movement campaigned against the opening of the first Starbucks Coffee in Egypt in December 2006. And, most recently, it has been campaigning against UK department store chain Marks & Spencer, due to open an outlet in Egypt by the end of this year.
In Egypt, the boycott campaign against Marks & Spencer commenced in November. The campaign's website, dubbed "Stop Marks & Spencer in Egypt," lists 15 reasons why Egyptians should boycott the soon-to-open department store.
"We’re calling on Egyptians to boycott because we know that it is easier and less risky to abstain from purchasing products than it is engage in activism and street protests,” campaign organizer Salma Shukrallah told Al-Masry Al-Youm. "We are specifically targeting Marks & Spencer because it is one of the primary corporations that support the Zionist movement.”
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