Monday, January 19, 2009

Boycott & Balcklist, Does it really work?

Got this from my friend- Zachy Fernandez Facebook. Spread it you guys!!
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Yes it does.
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Here’s how.In the late 1940s, the Arab League declared a complete boycott on all Israeli products. This was known as the Arab League Blacklist. It was done in protest to the illegal occupation of the Zionist movement on Palestinian land.
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The blacklist, as it evolved in the early 50s, is divided into three components. The primary boycott prohibits direct trade between Israel and the Arab nations. The secondary boycott is directed at companies that do business with Israel. The tertiary boycott involves the blacklisting of firms that trade with other companies that do business with Israel.
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Throughout the infamous Arab League Blacklist period, Israel’s economical situation was bad. Many multinational companies from through out the world refused to work with Israel for fear being enlisted into the infamous blacklist. Once in, these companies could no longer trade or market their products in oil rich Arab land.
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A great example of the power of this blacklist was in the early 60’s. Back then, Renault was the world’s no. 6 car maker. It cancelled its contract with an Israeli firm to assemble its cars in Israel. Reason: fear of an Arab boycott!
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The Arabs' economic blockade of Israel has probably caused Israel more injury than Arab armies did in all its wars. Back then, it has effectively deterred Israel's plans to set itself up as an industrial nucleus to serve Middle East markets. Such well-known U.S. firms as Philco Corp., Standard Oil, British-Shell and Socony Mobil Oil Co., all back then have removed themselves from the Arab League blacklist by deciding that doing business in Israel is uneconomic. Even in the late 50’s, when Elizabeth Taylor bought $100,000 worth of Israeli bonds, the United Arab Republic banned any further showing of her films. The ban even applied to her future movies.
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The US and EU oppose this blacklist and did all they could to prevent it from taking place. In 1977, Congress prohibited U.S. companies from cooperating with the Arab boycott. The World Trade Organization also did its bid to stop this blacklist by ensuring that its members cease all boycotts as a condition to entering the WTO.
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Saudi Arabia was forced to end this blacklist in 2005 as required by the WTO. The other Arab League members slowly followed. However so, the Arab League members continued to support this black list via less obvious approaches.
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Nowadays, government initiated boycotts or blacklists are a difficult thing to administer. However so, self imposed boycott maybe as equally or even more potent than the famous boycott of the 60s. Imagine this; the total global Muslim population is said to have exceeded 1.8 billion in 2007. If the self-imposed boycott message is rightfully delivered, we may have a boycott of close to a quarter of the world’s population. Furthermore, the neutrals or anti-violence population may also join in making the boycott close to a third of the world’s population. That surely
sends shivers down any consumer driven establishment.
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Self imposed boycott may seem difficult to do for some. There are thousands of companies and millions more products out there in the market today. How are we to sort the bad ones out from the good? Finding made in Israel products is easy. All one has to do is look out for the 729 bar code number. If the bar code of a specific product starts with 729, this means it is made in Israel. Most manufacturing companies have found a way around this; manufacture their products out of Israel. Though manufactured out of Israel, profits earned from these merchandises are still channelled into Israel, funding their iron claw means. Israel’s strong economy is a reason why they are able to procure state of the art weaponries to continue their killings. What about the other western based companies that support and fund the Zionist movement? How do we identify them?
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There is no sure way how to do this. One way is to do a little research. The information age has enabled us to access answers in ways not imagined possible 50 years ago. Researching on a specific product or company is easier than you may think. With the right connectivity, in just under 10 minutes, you can obtain enough information to make the correct civil minded and peace loving decision. If you are too lazy to do that, than keep your eyes and ears open. Be it from blogs like this, newspaper articles, radio, television, word of mouth or urges from pro-peace leaders; do keep a look out.
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Do also have a positive attitude to this. Some may feel one person may not make a difference on a global scale. Wrong again. Each and every one of our choices has a global butterfly effect. Making the correct decision or making a switch is not too difficult to do either. Instead of Coke, drink Pepsi; instead of Johnson & Johnson, why not try Procter & Gamble and instead of Starbucks choose Coffee Bean. By staying united and positive towards this boycott, we can make a difference. Our affirmative actions and correct choices help this cause in a far greater scale than you can imagine. Each and every one of us has a role to play and each and every one of our voices can be heard via the choices we make. Spread this message, make the right decision and put a stop to this slaughter and lets us play a role to end the violence.

1 comment:

syockit said...

Due to WTO, the government itself are restricted to the forms of boycott it can apply. Thus, the job of enforcing the boycott is left to us individuals. That would require a tactful usage of non-govermental mass media, but even if such move were to succeed, WTO might even prod the government to put a check on the effort.

USA's influence on WTO is one problem too, but the situation might change as developing nations like India and China slowly gains more power in economy, plus the current recession in USA that may prolong for a little more.