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Boycotting McDonalds Doesn’t Help Palestine. Here’s How To Boycott Effectively

Boycotting McDonalds Doesn’t Help Palestine. Here’s How To Boycott Effectively

Focus on companies that play a clear and direct role in sustaining Israeli violations of international law and that we can have a tangible impact.

Danyal Cheah

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With tensions rising between Israel and Palestine, it’s only natural for compassionate people to wonder ‘how can we help.’

Lately, Malaysian social media has again suggested boycotting the fast-food chain of McDonald’s.

However, in a Facebook post, popular stand-up comedian Harith Iskander said “Boycotting McDonald’s to ‘support’ Palestinians is as effective as tearing up your blue underwear because you think this will help Liverpool.”

McDonald’s Malaysia denies aiding Israel

McDonald’s Malaysia has denied channelling aid to Israel, and described the matter as a blatant lie and slanderous.

Managing director, Azmir Jaafar explained that McDonald’s Malaysia (Gerbang Alaf Restaurants Sdn Bhd) has been fully taken over by Saudi Arabia’s Reza Group with a local business partner since 2017, in which the company’s equity is fully owned by Muslims.

He also stressed that as a local company, McDonald’s Malaysia does not contribute, support or be involved in any political or religious conflicts in any country.

McDonald’s Malaysia is aware of the existence of a viral WhatsApp message regarding a boycott call on our brand. McDonald’s Malaysia wishes to clarify that the boycott is unsubstantiated and the statement about our brand channelling assistance to Israel is a blatant lie and slanderous.

Managing Director of McDonald’s Malaysia, Azmir Jaafar’s Statement to Bernama
Credit: BradfordBoycott /Facebook

So what can we do?

Boycott Effectively

Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.

Effective BDS campaigns are based on accurate research. There is a lot of information online claiming that big companies give money to Israel. Sometimes these rumours turn out to be false. For example, some campaigners call for a boycott of Starbucks. But Starbucks doesn’t have any stores in Israel and officially confirms that it does not support Israel. Companies such as McDonald’s are not priorities for the BDS movement at this stage. We focus on companies that play a clear and direct role in sustaining Israeli violations of international law and that we can have a tangible impact upon.

2017 Press statement from BDS Malaysia on the issue of the McDonald’s Boycott
Non Targeted vs Targeted Boycotts Focusing on a small number of companies and products. Credit: BDS Movement

Knowing What To Boycott 

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) call for a boycott of Israeli and international companies that are complicit in violations of Palestinian rights. 

Virtually all Israeli companies are complicit to some degree in Israel’s system of occupation and apartheid but BNC focuses their boycotts on a small number of products and companies that play a clear and direct role in Israel’s crimes for maximum impact.

Targeted consumer boycotts are convincing retailers across the world to stop selling products from companies profiting from Israel’s crimes and many Israeli exporters complain that it is getting harder for them to export their products.

For those wanting to make a difference here, Malaysia’s chapter of BNC, BDS Malaysia, has adopted the following list of products and companies outlined by the BDS Global Movement for boycott purposes:

Credit: BDS Malaysia

If you would like to donate money to finance activities to boycott Israel, you can send money to BDS Malaysia by clicking HERE.

If you want to send money to directly help Palestinians who are suffering in Gaza, you should send your money to MyCARE as they have an office there. To do that, click HERE.


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