Gaza War Gives Massive Boost to Boycott Israel Apps

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A demonstrator in Brussels calling for a boycott of Israel.Credit: Reuters

The Gaza hostilities appear to have given a huge boost to the anti-Israel boycott campaign – or at least to that part of it that uses apps to identify offending products.

Buycott, an app that catalogues brands and their affiliations and lets users set up campaigns to either help or boycott causes, reports that the number of people using its Long live Palestine, boycott Israel group has surged over the past month – from a few hundred users in early-July to over a quarter of a million today.

Long live Palestine" is the most popular group on the Buycott platform. The second most popular is Avoid Israeli Settlement Products. Both are growing fast, the International Business Times reports.

There is currently only one pro-Israeli campaign on Buycott. Despite being set up over a year ago, it has just 1,380 supporters.

The app allows users to search for a product linked to targeted companies or countries in order to boycott them. By scanning a product's barcode with a smartphone camera, consumers are able to determine which brands are associated with which campaigns.

Among the companies listed by the "Long Live Palestine, Boycott Israel" campaign are McDonald's, Intel, Nestle and Marks & Spencer.

"This campaign is about ordinary people around the world using their right to choose what they buy in order to help bring about an end to oppression in Palestine," the campaign's page states.

"It's a peaceful means of putting international pressure on the state of Israel and follows in the footsteps of the successful boycott against the South African apartheid."

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is expected to launch a similar app later this year.

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