Malaysian party calls for boycott of products linked to Israel over Jerusalem issue

Malaysian party calls for boycott of products linked to Israel over Jerusalem issue

Jerusalem palestinians
Palestinian Muslim worshippers walk in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Jerusalem's Old City on Dec 8, 2017. (Photo: AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian party said on Wednesday (Dec 13) it will launch a campaign to urge businesses and the public to boycott products with links to Israel, in light of the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The Malaysian People's Economic Party (PEKIRA), which was set up to advocate for traders and entrepreneurs, said it will print and distribute flyers with a list of products to avoid after it, along with two NGOs, sent a memorandum of protest to the United States embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

"We call on Muslim businessmen across Malaysia, Muslims, don't use Israeli products for example Coca-Cola. From today, we'll boycott Coca-Cola! Don't drink it!" said PEKIRA president Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah.

Malaysians have reportedly taken part in such boycotts, after they were angered by disputes between Israel and Palestine. 

According to lists circulating online of products and companies purportedly linked to Israel, Coca-Cola is said to provided support to Israel.

Debunking the reports, Coca-Cola said on its UK website that it does not transfer funds to support armed forces in Israel or "favour one country over another in any part of the world, including the Middle East".

Over the weekend, McDonald's Malaysia also issued a statement denying any links to Israel after similar boycott calls were circulating on messaging apps and social media. Muslim-majority Malaysia is a supporter of Palestine and does not have formal diplomatic ties with Israel.

In 2014, business operations at a few McDonald's outlets were affected by a boycott campaign over accusations the American fast food chain had links to Israel.

"Before, McDonald's was forced to close down (and the boycott worked)," said Mr Mohd Ridzuan. "This is what we'll do again."

Hundreds rallied outside the United States embassy last Friday in protest of US president Donald Trump's move with another rally planned for this Friday.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is in Turkey for a special Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting on this issue.

Source: CNA/ec