Mon 27-May-2024

Boycott an economic resistance without negative consequences

Saturday 18-November-2023

With the continuation of Israeli occupation crimes against the Palestinian people including the war on Gaza Arab nations have taken a collective stance of solidarity. This includes demonstrations collecting relief aid and a campaign to boycott Israeli and American products as well as boycotting goods and services from European countries.

In this sense there is a direct boycott of Israeli products and an indirect boycott of supporters of the occupation from European Union countries especially Britain and France.

Economic resistance
According to Essam Shaban a researcher in social anthropology at Cairo University by specifying the boycott’s definition Arab nations place the conflict with the occupation in its proper context and reject the perspective of fragmentation and separation between Israel and its supporters.

Shaban said that “in terms of tools the boycott has made use of the development of social communication media as a mobilization and rallying tool” to overcome the obstacles of authoritarianism which prevent the establishment of mass conferences or the distribution of propaganda and solidarity posters.

He added that “as an alternative to that various forms of creativity have emerged including the use of filmed clips to call for the boycott and to explain its benefits and effects reminding people that buying Israeli goods and supporting them means participating in the aggression.”

He emphasized that “the boycott rejects the naïve separation between economy and politics which is promoted by defeatists and interest groups that claim achieving developmental benefits. Such claims are found in promoting the Abraham Accords normalization agreements.”

He added “It can be said that it is a phenomenon and among its contents is that it is a form of economic resistance and a factor of support and alignment with the Palestinian people in their heroic steadfastness and belief in the justice of their cause.”

Shaban affirmed that “the boycott is also one form of opposition to the occupation state associated with the project of capitalist hegemony.”

No negative results
Regarding the claim that there are negative consequences of boycott on labor and production Shaban said “That is a fallacy. The market is not dependent on American and European dominance at least in many goods that have alternatives. The boycott can support opportunities for local production and expand the businesses of Egyptian companies that have seen a noticeable demand for their products as an alternative to American and European goods as well as provide some foreign currency savings.”

He also pointed out that “in addition to the Arab boycott there are international movements in solidarity with the Palestinian people and among the examples of that is the announcement by a group calling itself the non-Zionist Jewish group to boycott the McDonald’s chain of restaurants.”

He stressed that “the boycott has disturbed Israel and its allies who have tried to suppress it under the pretext of anti-Semitism which confirms the political significance of the boycott and its ability to formulate a position against the occupying state and spread it globally.”

He concluded “This time the boycott appears to be stronger and thus it surpasses the statements of the defeated groups or persons who claim wisdom and who consider all forms of resistance to American hegemony of which Israel is one of its pillars in the Middle East to be of no good.”

For her part the writer and translator Samia Ali believes that the boycott as a collective psychological state “has deep roots in our Arab and Islamic heritage.”

She mentioned the complaint of the people to Ibrahim bin Adham centuries ago about the high prices of meat at the butchers. Bin Adham did not order the butchers to lower the prices of meat but instead told the people to leave it to them; thus effectively forcing the butchers to reduce the prices.

Samia added that in this way there will be a will for change and a concern for homelands and rights. “Yes through boycott and complete reliance on local goods not goods supported by our enemies we will serve the purpose of opposing the enemy and its accomplices. This is the least we can do.


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