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Is Your Fridge Funding War Crimes? Kolkata Activists Ask The Hard Question

Activists demand action from people, ask the public to do beyond sharing videos, also explain how everyday life activity can help Palestine

Kolkata: The Concerned Citizen of Kolkata, a group which has given the call to boycott Israeli-American products since the genocide by Israel and Zionists alliance began in Palestine post October 7, 2023, have now intensified their campaign against international cold drink brands and Kolkata restaurants that are promoting these brands with some exclusive meal offers.

The speakers, including human and social activists as well as teacher and lawyer had one demand – Boycott Israeli-American products.

The Moderator, Athar Firdausi, a member of the boycott team, began by saying, “Since November, we have been running one of the longest campaigns in India to boycott Zionist products in Kolkata. We have conducted rallies, walks, and door-to-door campaigns. The impact of the boycott movement has been great. And has compelled these brands to come up with offers to lure buyers.”

Till date more than 40,000 people have been massacred in Palestine. Especially in Gaza, where a genocide is ongoing. This began soon after the attack by Hamas in Israel. Children are in maximum numbers among the victims. Every day war crimes are being committed by Israeli forces. The United Nations has mentioned it on several occasions. Now after the Israeli and American airstrikes, attacks by tanks, and gunshots by IDF and settlers, people and children are facing famine-like situations and dying from starvation.

Firdausi added, “One such offer is Coke or Coca-Cola or Thumbs Up with Dalem (a popular dish eaten during Ramzan). As the boycott movement is going on throughout the world and Pepsi as well as Thumbs Up products are getting affected, they are coming with such offers.”

“Helping doing business or lending any kind of support to oppressors or killers is haram (forbidden) in Islam just like drinking alcohol, eating pork, and lending money on interest is forbidden. If such offers do not get discontinued by the restaurants, people should shun their relationships with such shops and owners,” Abdul Aziz, senior journalist and activist said.

Ashraf Ali Qashmi pointed out – if a shopkeeper harms your family then you wouldn’t patronize them. And if that shop is hurting millions of people by selling or passing off the product that should be boycotted as a freebie then should you not end your relationship with that shop, he further asked.

Lawyer and activist Noor Mahvish pointed out, “We are living a privileged life. If we wish, we watch some videos and if that gives you a heavy feeling, you skip that. But when it comes to boycotting products, they are not refusing it.”

“The women, when they give birth, face immense problems in general but in that situation, they are not getting medicines during deliveries in Palestine. Women are getting raped, children are being butchered, and men are murdered. Even after seeing all these, if we cannot do this minimum act of boycotting products, then we should think about what we are doing for the people of Palestine.”

Syed Irfan Sher, President All India Mutawalli Association and Rotary member said, “I believe it is not just a matter for a community, but for the entire humanity and every sane person is aghast and condemning the brutality by Israel in Palestine.”

Shahina Ashgar, another social activist and a mother said, “Every woman has a big role in this boycott – to stop her man and children from buying Israeli-American products. We have made sure to have no Israeli-American products in our house for so many years.”

She added that one can also return the boycott product that’s being offered for free, while taking the daleem or food that one has ordered. This strategy will shame the shopkeepers who are giving such offers.

Mohammed Shahnawaz, a teacher, showed the list of products which should be boycotted and which are the alternatives. He also appealed to his students to continue boycotting Israeli products.

“It is more important to boycott Israeli-American products than sharing videos and images of the ongoing genocide. If you want to stop the killings, boycott products,” stressed Ghulam Zahid, a social activist.

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