On The Question of Boycotting

“If you – everyone in this room – agrees that we [Palestinians] are colonized and occupied and that it’s not a good thing at all, then why aren’t we boycotting Israeli goods?” 

When this question was asked by my philosophy professor, the classroom fell to silence. Perhaps, we were thinking of finding an answer that would not sound ridiculous. Perhaps, we were really thinking why. Perhaps, we were thinking of Saji Darwish that was killed by a weapon contributed to Israel through the many shekals we, the Palestinian people, and those who intentionally support the occupation, spend in purchasing anything with a 729 barcode. Perhaps, we all boycott and took the question to be rhetorical. 

The silence was swept away by answers that were familiar to me (and in all honesty, some were answers I have uttered before). 

“But what is one person boycotting going to do?” to which I think, ‘Oh God, if everyone thinks like this.’ 

“Everything crosses ‘Israel’.”   to which I think, ‘True, but what if we start out by boycottingthe things that are made on occupied land?’

“They taste good, and they are probably better quality.” to which I think, ‘Oh God. Oh God.’

My friend added how it was difficult to boycott in Jerusalem when many products are Israeli ones. This is something I personally observed when I went to Jerusalem. 

As the professor kept repeating the question, I wondered  why boycotting is not done by many and done by others. 

Although the professor was trying to make a point about Macheavilli and his point of how people’s lives are all based on interest, this question is one that should be asked when we reach for an Israeli product in our full consciousness. 


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