The Daily Gamecock

Column: Why boycotting for Palestine, Gaza is important

A growing number of people are beginning to boycott various companies to support Palestine and Gaza and end funding to the Israeli army.

But some problems can develop during boycotting, such as people believing it is useless, not carrying it out correctly or not knowing why they are boycotting in the first place. Boycotting must be done in order to assist those in need.

Boycotts are being carried out worldwide against corporations to demand a permanent ceasefire between the Israeli army and Hamas forces, while calling for the freedom of civilians in Palestine and Gaza.

There are currently three main companies that are being boycotted by consumers: McDonald's, Starbucks and Disney.  These businesses have been picked because they have supported Israel financially or through public statements

Consumers wield great power as they continue to hold money and look for alternatives for similar products. Starbucks has lost almost $12 billion in market value so far, equivalent to a 10% revenue decrease. 

These boycotts serve as a show of solidarity with the people of Gaza and Palestine who are suffering.

A boycott is a deliberate action, often involving withholding one's business, taken to show dissatisfaction or demand adherence to particular demands.

Consumers have a say in how these companies spend the money they pay them. Those spending can choose to stop supporting an organization if it violates their morals or beliefs. 

Boycotters are demanding a stop in funding and support to the Israeli army. Within this context, boycotting shows whether or not individuals have a moral compass.

Boycotts for Palestine are significant because they stop money from flowing and prevent the promotion of companies that support the Israeli Army, said Aya Gamal, fourth-year psychology student and the co-president of the USC Students for Justice in Palestine.

“If you limit that funding, you limit the sustainability of the occupation, and it’s also important to make a statement. So sometimes a company is not directly funding, but it is aiding, it is in support of (genocide),” Gamal said. 

A criticism of boycotting is that it is seen as ineffective since people think they cannot compete with these large, multimillion-dollar corporations. While boycotting is challenging, it is beneficial when done correctly. 

If change is not sought after, it will not occur. Supporting Palestinians by consistently boycotting will help those in need. In order to properly boycott, all participants must be on the same page. 

“You can't say it's not effective," Gamal said. "Now, you can say maybe the way that people choose to boycott can downplay the effectiveness of it, but that’s on us to strategically plan to change that." 


While everyone is free to boycott whatever company they choose, collectively picking a few companies to target will have the greatest impact, as this will drive companies to end their support of the Israeli army.

"I think they're definitely going to feel pressured. And if the pressure is big enough, they'll have to either say something or do something or change something," Anli Xiao, an assistant professor for USC's School of Journalism and Mass Communications, said. "It really depends on the scale of the boycott." 

Boycotting in unison and with consistency helps to restrict money and make a greater impact. The goal of the boycotts of these larger corporations is to make a greater financial impact.

"I think you should definitely target the bigger companies just because (of) the spillover effect on smaller companies," Xiao said. "If the big companies do change anything, then that will be great because they are having more impact on what's going on."  

Raising awareness is another crucial component of the boycotting process. 

A lot of individuals are complacent and think they don't have to worry about certain issues. While everyone has a right to choose what they do, joining together for the boycott is simply for the greater good.

This crisis shouldn't just be watched from a distance or ignored. Gaining knowledge about social conflicts will make the world more conscious of whatever community needs their support and attention. It will be more difficult to bring about change if knowledge and awareness aren't spread.

What matters is how one may help others, not what they can gain. Boycotting isn't simply for personal gain, as bigger issues can be addressed by cutting off support to organizations that harm others.

There are also other groups in the world currently experiencing genocides, ethnic cleansing and exploitation. Spreading awareness will give a voice to those whose voices are being silenced.

This boycott needs to be widely spread to help Palestine, Gaza and eventually others suffering similar circumstances.