As I write this, we are in the 4th successive week of Gaza being pounded by the Zionist war machine, the occupying army of Israel. Almost 2,000 Palestinians have lost their lives, with over 80% of them being civilians. As all but a handful of government leaders the world over, including the leaders of the Arab world, seems to have turned their back on Palestine, we watch the images of destruction coming out of Gaza with tears of sadness and a feeling of utter helplessness. As the Zionist entity is slowly but surely losing the media war, people with conscience the world over are realizing how immoral the situation is, and wondering what they can do to help. 



In amongst the many calls to protest action in various forms, I know many people are confused as to what to do, what to boycott (even whether to boycott at all), and what will make the most difference to the cause. 

At this point I would just like to say that in this post I will not be entertaining the argument about whether boycotts and sanctions work or not. They DO work. Sanctions is what brought the SA Apartheid government to its knees. That was literally the final straw to break the camel’s back to end Apartheid. So as a nation, we should understand this concept better than anyone. You have buying power, use that power to make a difference. And even if it doesn’t make a big difference (it certainly does, but let’s just assume for a moment), then are you really ok with knowing that your money is being used to fund the killing of innocent people and carrying out a genocide? Many brands have already ended their support of Israel because of consumer boycott pressure. Examples of these in South Africa are Karstens Farms and Reggies Toy Stores.

What may be up for discussion, and I think it is a constructive conversation that should be had, is to what extent we take the boycotts in terms of both principle and practicality. 

I’m in no position to give you an exhaustive list of actions, but there are a few things that I would like to suggest. I will cover 5 things:
  1. Law on labeling of goods from occupied territories
  2. Buycott App
  3. SA Israel Chamber of Commerce members
  4. Inminds website
  5. BDS South Africa details


1 – LAW ON LABELLING OF GOODS FROM OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

On 5 April 2013, the then Minister Rob Davies from the Department of Trade and Industry signed a law into effect that makes it illegal to label goods originating from East Jerusalem, Gaza or West Bank as “Israeli goods” or indicating Israel as the country of origin. This is because these territories are regarded as Palestinian territories under international law. 

Notice 380 of 2013 has the full wording of this, and is the original document relating to this law. You can download this document in .pdf format by clicking herePlease do so now, even if not to use it extensively, then at least to arm yourself with the information. 

When you go shopping, take note of the labels on the things you buy. If an item says that it is imported, it must state the country of origin as well. If you come across something that violates the DTI notice, or that you suspect violates it, take a picture of the item. Pictures are automatically timestamped, so that forms part of your evidence. Then, when you get home, email the manager of the store with the picture of the goods and the .pdf of the notice, and state that you believe the goods violate the law and therefore it is illegal for them to stock it. Give your name and contact details as well for them to contact you back, and also give the date and time of the incident. State when you expect a response by, and give them a reasonable timeframe in which to respond. Tell them you will give them a chance to comply before taking the matter to the DTI. 

If you do not have email access or would prefer not to email, you can also do it by telephone. Take down all the details of whom you spoke to and give them your details. Also take down the name of the store, the branch and the manager’s name. 

If the store does not comply within your indicated (reasonable) time period, you may report them to the Department of Trade & Industry for violation of Section 24 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2008 (Act no. 68 of 2008)

Here’s that link to the notice again: Download document  


2 – “BUYCOTT” APP

Buycott is a great app that you can download to your smartphone to assist with ethical shopping choices. There is a list of causes you can add that ranges from human rights violations to GMO goods labeling to animal rights violations. You add causes, and then you can scan product barcodes using your phone’s camera (through the app). It then traces the product back to its origins (takes into consideration parent companies, etc) and tells you whether you have a personal conflict with the product or not. If the product is not in the database you can add it, and it automatically then gives you a verdict based on the brand name. 

The app is doing phenomenally well in terns of ratings and downloads across app stores worldwide, and I have personally used it. It works really well. 

You can get it here:
Apple App store 
Google Play store 


3 – SA ISRAEL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERS

The SAICC is a body that facilitates trade between SA and the Zionist state of Israel. You definitely want to avoid companies that belong to this body as far as you possibly can. 

After people started taking notice of this a weeks ago and taking action, they have made changes to the website. You can no longer get to the members’ page through the homepage of the site. BUT, you can indeed still get to it under the different categories if you have the direct link.

Which is why I will be giving you the direct link to it :)

You can get to the SAICC members list by clicking the following link: SAICC Members Page 

You have to go into each category on the tabs down the left of the page. NB – the “ALL” section does not have all the members, they are only in the categories. So browse through those categories and empower yourself with knowledge. You might be surprised as to who and what you find there. 


4 – INMINDS WEBSITE

I would be failing in my duty if I did not mention the Inminds website in this post. Although the site hasn’t been updated in a while, they have been at the forefront of providing information on which brands to boycott for the better part of a decade and a half. 

You can find the list of brands, as well as the evidence against some of those brands on at Inminds Boycott page or alternatively you can just download this handy A4 flyer in MS-Word format that we have put together using information from the site. Download flyer


5 - BDS SOUTH AFRICA

BDS SA is the voice of boycott, disinvestment and sanctions in South Africa. They usually have a campaign running highlighting a particular company that contributes towards the occupation in Palestine. They are easily contactable via the channels for information relating to BDS, and their temporary website is up at BDS SA website.

They can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


I hope that reading this has been beneficial to you. If there are any other related great resources that you know of, please let me know by commenting below.