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Monday, July 3, 2017

An op-ed in Asian Correspondent from Malaysia talks about the effectiveness of consumer boycotts:

THERE is no denying the fact Malaysians are very passionate. We will commit and dedicate ourselves to whatever social affair or issue we feel passionate about, such as the Palestinian-Israel issue, the ISIS issue, even the Rohingya refugee crisis.

But the commitment hardly ever lasts.

Remember two years ago in 2014 when emotions against the Zionist movement and oppression towards Palestinians by Israel was at an all-time high? There were protests and calls for the boycott of Jewish-linked businesses such as McDonald’s, Starbucks and the like.

How long did the boycott last? Obviously not very long. Everyone was so angry in the beginning. They took to the streets with their banners and scarves. And yes, they did boycott the franchises, for a week or two maybe. But then it was Big Macs and Latte Grandes all over again.

Today, there seems to be yet another call to boycott these franchises.

But this time, it isn’t an issue related to the Zionists. The Malay nationalist group Perkasa wants Malay Muslims here to boycott coffee chain Starbucks, purportedly because the company supports marriage equality and LGBT rights in the US.
The writer goes on to say that the chances of such a boycott accomplishing anything are nil. But this part caught my eye:

And of course, there is the current BDS movement (Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions) that started in 2005 with the intention of isolating Israel due to their stand on Palestine.

But again, a very different story (the movement isn’t doing too well either).
IF BDS is perceived as being ineffective even in anti-Israel Muslim countries like Malaysia, then the movement has already lost the non-Arab Islamic world.

Just as the Europeans need to catch up with the Gulf states on how unimportant the Palestinian issue really is, the people who think that BDS is making any inroads need to catch up with the fact that Israel's economy is the envy of the world. When Israel gets visits from the head of the nation that has some 180 million Muslims, more than almost any other, then the attempts to destroy Israel by delegitimizing it have truly failed.

As this author implies, the economy is what drives international relations more than anything else. As Israel grows economically, it cannot be considered vulnerable to today's boycotts any more than it was when the Arab nations boycotted the Jews in 1946.




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