Monday, 5 March 2012

I am trying to boycott apartheid

I have recently had a few conversations with friends and acquaintances regarding my objection to the GSM provider, Cellcom, which has the second biggest share of the GSM Market after Lonestar. Well, my objection to them is they being an Israeli company and Israel happens to be an apartheid state which has committed gross acts of crimes against humanity with utter impunity. 

More recently, I made the decision to boycott a very popular event in Monrovia, "Lazy Raft Day," because one of the main sponsors was Cellcom. 

And, for sarcastic fun I started calling it the Israeli Raft Day. God, can you even imagine the terrible tragic comic parallels to the Gaza Flotilla Raid?

I know how random and unfocused my sense of self-righteous anger is. I am so aware of my amateur politics. So, what was the point? Isn't every second or third event in Liberia going to be sponsored by a huge company and chances are it's going to be Cellcom? In fact, the fashion show Haresh and I attended a few weeks ago had Cellcom as one of its sponsors! So much for my disorganised righteous anger. 

One of the ways apartheid in South Africa was defeated was to stop trade with the regime. This would entail boycott of its companies being able to do business internationally. The same needs to be done with Israel. 

I did put my politics into action last year when I was working on a project on a client site which entailed importing routers and antennas from the US. I realised after the fact that the antennas were from an Israeli company and cancelled the order. I went back to the manufacturers of the routers to say that the antennas recommended by them were of Israeli origin and for ethical reasons I could not purchase them. I ended up creating a lot more work for myself because the router company would only officially recommend the Israeli antennas. The ensuing research and efforts paid off though and we ended up importing hardware that worked for our project and we did not have to use those Israeli antennas. 

I realise my meager actions and heated outbursts may not make a huge difference at all but I certainly feel good about exercising my politics. I believe in educating oneself about history, causes and issues around the world and taking a point of view rather than being ignorant and not taking a stand. 

I also understand that one should not impose or force-feed others one's views. Do it discreetly and blog about it at night, in bed, because no one is listening to you!

1 comment:

  1. I feel your pain... In fact, I'd love to go to Jerusalem and now that I'm so close I feel I should take the opportunity... If only it wasn't in Israel! I don't want to spend any money on that country...