of Arabs shun American products
6 May 2002,
Khalid Amayreh for IAP News
A growing number of Palestinian customers are shunning American
products, especially soft drinks and cigarettes, in protest against
American backing of Israel's unrestrained war of annihilation against
the Palestinian people.
According to informed sources in the Palestinian ministry of trade,
Palestinian consumption of American products has plummeted to less
than 50% of what it was in the year 2000.
The sources said that the boycott seemed to have affected all sectors
of basic consumer goods, including soft drinks, cigarettes, cosmetics
and food products.
At the official level, Palestinian officials are reluctant to encourage
the Palestinian public to boycott American goods, fearing unfavorable
However, at street level, America is public enemy number one.
"I think that most Palestinians and myself are convinced that
America is the real enemy of the Palestinian people. We must not
forget that thousands of Palestinians have been killed and maimed
by American helicopters and American bombs and thousands of Palestinian
homes have been demolished by American bulldozers," said Anwar
Masri, a businessman, supports wholeheartedly boycotting American
"We know that our efforts will not produce miracles in the
foreseeable future, but is demeaning to our honor and dignity as
individuals and as a nation to consume the products of those who
slaughter our children."
And the message seems to have gotten through to the bulk of the
Palestinian public, at least in the big towns.
According to business sources, the sale of American products in
retail stores in the three largest Palestinian towns, Nablus, Hebron
and Ramallah, has dwindled to half the normal rate.
"Many consumers feel that if you buy a bottle of Coca Cola
you contribute inadvertently to the killing of a Palestinian child
in Jenin and Gaza," said Rawhi Sayed Ahmed, a retail merchant
"Coca Cola has the color of Palestinian children's blood."
American soft drinks, such as the Coca Cola and the Pepsi Cola,
which symbolize American cultural hegemony, have been hard-hit by
a growing popular boycott campaign which is gaining momentum.
In the Hebron region, thousands of crates of American soft drinks
have been returned to the mother company in Ramallah because of
"I wouldn't be telling the truth if I told we haven't been
affected," said a senior manager at the Coca Cola company in
"People here hate the American government, and Coca Cola is
an American symbol."
Last week, the league of Palestinian Ulema or religious scholars
issued a fatwa or religious edict prohibiting the consumption of
American products which have local or foreign substitutes.
The edict echoed an earlier similar edict by Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi,
one of the most noted contemporary Muslim scholar, prohibiting the
consumption of American products in the light of brazen American
support of Israel's oppression of the Palestinians.
On Sunday, the Qatari al-Jazeera satellite television channel reported
that the boycott of American products in the United Arab Emirates
and other Gulf states was acquiring phenomenal proportions.
It was reported today that the Japanese multi-national Subaru-Fuji
& Fuji Co. has removed Israel from its complimentary world map
that it gives to their customers with purchases.
Analysts said it was an indication that Arab calls for a boycott
of Israel may be bearing fruit. In response, many Israelis today
called for a boycott of all Fuji products -- film, cameras, batteries
Arabs and Muslims hope that a vigorous campaign to boycott American
products will hurt the American economy and eventually force the
Zionist-controlled American government to reconsider its wanton
hostility to Arabs and Muslims.