In response to Israel’s indiscriminate aggression on the Gaza Strip, a massive campaign was launched to boycott some global companies due to their alleged support for Israel which has been killing and causing harm to innocent Palestinian civilians.
Many people think that one of the most effective actions to change what has been happening in Palestine for a month now is to collectively boycott companies that are openly supporting the Israeli occupation forces.
This includes McDonald’s, Carrefour, Puma, Caterpillar, and all those multinationals that provide goods and logistical support to the Israeli army for their war crimes against the Palestinian people.
However, a recent debate emerged regarding the repercussions of this campaign on the country’s national economy. This can be summarized in a simple question; will boycotting pro-Israel products negatively affect Morocco’s economy?
This question stems from the fact that there should be a distinction made between foreign subsidiary companies and a national investment holding commercial franchise rights.
One of those individuals who support the boycotting campaign told MoroccoLatestNews “I choose not to purchase products associated with countries or companies involved in these violations. This reflects a commitment to my values and a desire to effect change through responsible consumer behavior. Well, I don’t want a single dirham on my part to be used as a financial source to kill innocent people fighting for their land.”
She added, “While consumer boycotts can potentially have economic consequences on a national scale, it’s essential to recognize that the impact varies. While some boycotts may have a noticeable effect on specific industries or companies, the overall impact on a nation’s economy is often influenced by a range of factors. But I think then it may prompt a country to consider policy changes, engage in diplomatic efforts, or address the concerns that have led to these actions.”
Another one told MoroccoLatestNews that “Those companies support the murder of innocent souls.” For her now, “showing support to Palestine is more important than anything.”
However, another person who spoke to MoroccoLatestNews under the condition of anonymity believes that “It will primarily disadvantage Moroccan businesses that rely on Carrefour, and other brands for their supplies. It can lead to job losses. By extension, the cost of goods will skyrocket and make it harder for us to afford products. Furthermore, it will jeopardize foreign investment and make it less attractive for foreign companies to invest in Morocco.”
Another one argued, “I am against boycotting those companies because the people who are working in the local companies have families. If you boycott, for example, McDonald’s, the shares of the company will drop. So, they will fire the labor. When this happens, how will these people take care of their families? Even though I am against what is happening now in Palestine, but….”
To learn more about the potential repercussions of boycotting on the national economy, MoroccoLatestNews spoke to Mehdi Fakir, an expert in the economy.
He emphasized the right thing to do is to look at the legal situation of Moroccan companies that are franchises. Those companies have “representation contracts, meaning they obtain the contract and work under that. They earn profits and pay taxes. In addition, they pay representation fees to the parent company,” he explained.
However, “There are partners who are not related to this issue but punished even though they are not involved in the matter, while the only relationship between them and the parent company is the fees they pay each year,” further explained Fakir.
He justified his point by saying, “Many partners in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Kuwait have issued press statements stating that they have no relationship with Israel. The issue is related to the parent company, while the local companies are instead supporting Gaza.”
The expert said that he cannot penalize someone today based on a position that is not displayed to the public.
“I cannot mix and stigmatize companies simply because they have a franchise contract and have nothing to do with the parent companies that have shown support for Israel. So, there is a big difference between the two,” he emphasized.
Fakir underscored that “We should boycott companies that have a direct connection to what is happening in the Middle East in favor of the Palestinians.”
“Certainly, some may consider boycotting a political way to exert some pressure because Moroccan companies will call foreign companies and express their concerns. But behind that, there are jobs, contributions, and people who depend on them. We shouldn’t penalize them easily,” concluded the expert.
In the Middle East, many branches of the parent companies, such as McDonald’s, released statements confirming that they hold no connection with the branch in Israel or branches that show support to Israel.
The boycott campaign against companies and products that show support for Israel is sweeping across the Arab world. The campaign is used to condemn the heinous attacks of Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.