[Boycott - Economic - Europe]
UK company boycotts Israeli consumers
Tani Goldstein, Ynetnews.com
6 January 2009
Israeli computer engineer discovers he cannot order scarf online from London-based Pashmina company because it has joined Muslim consumer boycott against IDF operation in Gaza
Meiron Gestman, a computer engineer from Ramat Gan, discovered to his surprise on Monday that he could not purchase a scarf online from the London-based Pashmina company.
The reason for this was that the company which he wished to order from had joined a boycott against Israel due to the military operation in Gaza.
"I checked why they didn't charge my credit card, and they told me they were participating in a voluntary boycott on Israel due to "the horrors committed by the Israeli army," he said.
Behind the boycott is a British organization of Muslim consumers, who have imposed a boycott on Israel as well as all Jewish-owned American companies in protest against the fighting in Gaza and the US's support for Israel in the battle.
The boycott received a warm welcome by many British internet sites, especially those related to Islam, and reports have been published by British newspapers. However Pashmina stressed to Gestman that it was only boycotting Israel, not all Jews.
'Pashmina' is not the only British company to have joined the boycott. Last week 'FreedomCall', a telecom company based in the UK, terminated all communications with the Israeli MobileMax following the Gaza operation.
The British-Muslim websites recommend boycotting a number of large firms, most of which manufacture products in Israel and all of which sell their products in Israel.
Among these are AOL, Coca-Cola, Delta-Galilee, Estee Lauder, Johnson and Johnson, Marks and Spencer, Revlon, Starbucks, McDonalds, Danone, Disney, IBM, Kimberly, Nestle, Nokia, and Intel.
'Captives of Arab propoganda'
"I tried to convince the person who sent the email that he's wrong," Gestman told Ynet. "They're just captives of the successful propaganda of the Arab side, and I wanted to help explain our side. They see things very superficially and one-sidedly.
"I asked him whether he boycotted American products because of what they did in Iraq or whether he was boycotting Palestinian products because they were firing missiles on kindergartens in Israel. He didn't really know what to say and answered pretty stupidly."
The email sent to Gestman in reply to his questions said the company had boycotted other countries, such as Myanmar. It said the boycott was imposed out of shock at the number of civilians killed by Israel, but did not wish to undermine the suffering of Israelis or any victims wherever they may be. The company did not respond to any of Ynet's emails.
Britain has been known for a number of boycotts against Israel, among these an academic boycott and a consumer boycott. The boycotts have had few economic ramifications, and the British government has consistently opposed them.
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