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Boycotts in Business: What’s Happening?


The topic of Israel and Palestine is one that is sweeping across the globe. It has caught the attention of everyone, from the United Nations to students in their government classes. The views and opinions of people vary depending on who has been exposed to certain news outlets and sources of information. This article will not be exploring those opinions. Instead, it will explore a form of protest being utilized by people siding with the liberation of Palestine, boycotting.


Boycotting, a term coined in 1880, is the process of avoiding the support of certain items or establishments for the sake of dropping its profit. Oftentimes, boycotts only ever work at their best when a large group of people participate in the act. It is meant to act as a public display of disdain towards a company for a certain reason by hitting them where it hurts: the checkbooks.

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Currently, citizens in support of Palestine are calling for a boycott against various large scale corporations, three of the most major being Disney, Starbucks and McDonalds. The reason behind this is because these corporations have openly displayed their support for the Israel Defence Forces, or the IDF for short. 

As a means to show these companies they do not support where their money is going, people have begun to find alternative ways to receive the products they otherwise love. Some of these ways are rather beneficial to their own personal communities, such as shopping in more local, smaller businesses. Others are a little more vengeful in their tactics, using things such as the leaked Starbucks drink menu to handcraft their own goodies. That is to say, there is such a thing as an incorrect boycott. For example, releasing multiple live rats into a McDonald’s located in the United Kingdom, which was a real thing that occurred in light of the situation, according to the New York Post. This is much less a form of boycott and more so an anarchist view of protest. The purpose of boycotting is to financially threaten the corporation itself, not terrorize the employees at certain chains.


The initial wave of attacks began on October 7, 2023, however the tension between Palestine and Israel had existed decades before. It dates all the way back to 1948 when Palestinians were displaced out of their homes by Israelis in an exodus called the Nakba, according to PBS. Many pro-Palestinian supporters believe this current situation is meant to mimick the movement from almost 100 years ago. As such, many people are shunning major companies for giving support to the IDF, and the impact is evident.


Below are three graphs taken from the Yahoo Finance stock market page. In order, they display Disney (DIS), Starbucks (SBUX) and McDonald’s (MCD). These images were taken on November 2, 2023 and all display the statistics of each establishment within the month before. All three graphs display the earnings of their respective corporations on October 27, 2023 — 20 days after the beginning. 


An interesting observation about all three is that they all took a rather dramatic decline on the highlighted date. Considering the fact all three corporations are subject to boycotts, it’s no surprise that they’re all facing fluctuating support. It is also interesting to note that they are all also beginning to climb back up in sales as of the start of November. It’s too early to call if these boycotts will have a greater impact on these companies, especially with the holiday season coming up. For now, we will just have to wait and see just how the arrow moves as the terror continues.


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