Baghdad The tragic conditions in Gaza City and the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation that accompanied them gained priority in official and popular Iraqi attention, as civil activists launched campaigns to boycott companies that support the occupation.
The boycott campaigns witnessed great support from the Iraqis, as the boycott campaign began with individual efforts in three governorates, while today it has reached 15 out of 18 Iraqi governorates with overwhelming support from citizens.
Main and sub-goals
The official responsible for the boycott campaigns, Abbas Al-Attar, revealed to Al-Jazeera Net that the main goal of the campaign is to contribute to pressure to stop the war of extermination in Gaza, support the Palestinian cause, and gather and unify the word of the Iraqis and show their position rejecting this criminal war.
According to Al-Attar, the campaign has other goals, including spreading and strengthening the culture of boycott and its economic effects on the “Zionist entity” among Iraqi society, and demonstrating the importance of the boycott and its role in reversing the balance of power, as well as seeking to influence Iraqi importers and merchants to refrain from importing goods and products that support the occupation.
According to Al-Attar, the campaign aims to pressure the Iraqi government to issue a decision preventing the entry of these goods into the Iraqi market, and to communicate with community opinion leaders, including religious and social leaders, media figures, bloggers, and other influential social forces, including unions, federations, and human rights organizations, to establish the boycott.
Regarding the popular interaction with the boycott campaign, Al-Attar pointed out that it started with 3 people and then expanded to reach 4,800 people throughout Iraq, with representatives from 15 Iraqi governorates joining, and the number is increasing.
Al-Attar pointed out that “our Facebook page has gained great trust until it has become a page for publishing the names of products and goods supporting the entity and the countries that support them, to a page for consultations and questions that we receive from citizens asking about some products and what are the national alternatives.”
Al-Attar pointed out that a large group of Iraqis declared their support for the campaign by participating in the field work by taking to the streets and public places and posting posters showing the supporting products and companies.
Al-Attar revealed that a judicial decision was issued prohibiting the import of products that support Israel.
Highlights of the boycott's products
The campaign revealed the most prominent products and companies supporting Israel that are spread in Iraqi markets.
One of the owners of perfume and cosmetics stores, Saadoun Asaad, told Al Jazeera Net that since the events in Gaza, sales of goods to companies supporting Israel have declined, noting that “there are boycott campaigns for many of the products available in the market, as they have witnessed a major recession.”
Despite this, Asaad expressed his happiness with the popular boycott campaigns launched by a number of activists, considering this an indication of the Iraqi people’s standing with the suffering of the Palestinian people who were victorious with their determination and magnanimity.
The boycott's losses vary and depend on the size of participation and its impact, but the expected losses depend on the size of the targeted products, and can range from loss of foreign investment opportunities to a decrease in commercial revenues, according to what experts in international economics told Al Jazeera Net.
For her part, the academic and professor at the University of Baghdad, Nahla Abdullah Najah, told Al Jazeera Net that when following the major markets in Iraq, we notice that there are discounts on the goods of the supporting companies due to the lack of demand for them.
She added, the campaign is a collective and organized work, and the College of Information / Baghdad launched a campaign, and we then launched campaigns here and here through social media sites. It had electronic campaigns in social media at the level of publications and designs, and even applications spread through which companies support the occupation or not, such as the My Case application.
Regarding her experience, Nahla says that she, her colleagues, and their families boycott goods that support the occupation and are keen when going to any shopping center or restaurant to inform them of the necessity of using alternative products to those that support Israel, in addition to that the step will be considered a support for the local Iraqi industry.
For his part, Professor of International Economics Nawar Al-Saadi told Al Jazeera Net that the boycott will have an impact on many factors that may directly affect the local product in the Iraqi markets, indicating that the consumer awareness that is enhanced through this campaign can constitute an incentive for Iraqi consumers to shift towards… Supporting local products as a national moral aspect, especially since the Iraqis previously boycotted the goods of neighboring countries to support the local product.
Al-Saadi added that consumers see choosing a local product as an opportunity to contribute to economic solidarity with the Palestinians and to reject products associated with Israeli companies. Therefore, this would contribute to improving the local supply chain, leading to increased demand for local products, which in turn stimulates the local economy and creates opportunities. Additional work, which leads to greater economic stability in Iraq.
On the other hand, social researcher Nour Ahmed reveals that campaigns boycotting products supportive of Israel are bearing fruit.
He assured Al Jazeera Net that the Iraqi people support the Palestinian cause and have recorded many immortal positions throughout history, considering boycott campaigns not new to the Iraqi people, indicating that boycott campaigns constitute moral support for what our brothers are suffering in Palestine and Gaza.