Boycotts should not be seen as the end goal. The BDS movement calls for boycotting corporations linked to the oppression of Palestinians. It has been gaining traction in countries like Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt. In response, consumers in these countries have spurned brands linked to the oppression of Palestinians. Boycotts were used successfully during the South African apartheid regime and in response to a Danish newspaper publishing a controversial cartoon. However, boycotts may not directly harm Israel’s economy due to its reliance on technological exports rather than consumer goods. Despite this, boycotts can communicate discontent among stakeholders and damage a company’s reputation, ultimately leading to policy changes. The BDS movement has successfully divested pension funds from Israel and influenced companies like Adidas to change their support for Israel. However, boycotts can be short-lived and may not have a long-term impact on a company’s revenue. Dr Huma Baqai believes that boycotts may have minimal influence on the target nation’s economy or conflict behavior, but they make people feel good and keep the issue alive. Today, the complex ownership structure of multinational corporations can make it difficult to identify which companies are complicit in the oppression of Palestinians. It is important to consider whether boycotts hurt the local economy and to provide enough media coverage to sustain them.
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