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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

OPINION: What can you actually do for Palestine? Here’s an idea

Wren Johnson

6,730 miles away, war is raging in the Gaza Strip. Here in Wichita, it’s business as normal for most of us — at least, those of us that have no connections to Israel or Palestine. But there are easy steps everyone can take to make a difference overseas. 

In a world of social media and disinformation, posts exploiting the suffering of Syrian citizens and video game clips as footage of the current war are easy to find. The identification and spread of facts are crucial to keeping the public out of the dark in relation to what is actually happening. (Here’s a comprehensive guide to the war and its origins.) 

For young Americans with no direct relation to the war in Palestine, it’s easy to be disengaged and leave our activism to Instagram stories. Still, I believe there’s more we can do here in the states to support Palestine.

Many in the Palestinian liberation movement are supporting a boycott of Israeli products as well as companies that have been in support of the Israeli government and Zionism. 

“The Israeli regime’s economy is not self-sufficient and is heavily dependent on trade and imports, especially energy, as well as exports, which makes it vulnerable to foreign boycotts,” Ivan Kesic wrote in an article for PressTV

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is led by the Palestinian sect of the BDS National Committee (BNC). BDS pushes audiences to pursue a targeted boycott — which is proven to be more impactful, as shown by the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, the Civil Rights movement in America and the anti-British-colonialism movement in India — that focuses on fewer companies to maximize impact. 

Although not included in the BDS targeted boycott, I urge consumers to boycott Starbucks as well for the corporation’s response to the Starbucks Workers Union’s message in support of Palestinian liberation. 

On Wichita State’s campus, Starbucks is far from the only choice for coffee. The Groundhouse in Shocker Hall and Cargill Cafe in Woolsey Hall both offer coffee sourced from the local Reverie Roasters. In Delano, Leslie Coffee Co. is a great alternative — make sure you stop by before they shut down at the end of this year. 

For the organic boycott targets, there are many options for avoiding purchasing from the targets. Instead of McDonald’s or Burger King, try Braum’s, Dairy Queen or the locally owned Sport Burger.

Instead of Pizza Hut or Papa John’s, visit Papa Murphy’s. To support some smaller chains and businesses, try one of the Ziggy’s locations or Picasso’s Pizzeria

Even if “boycott” feels like a strong word, it can be as simple as avoiding purchasing from these companies for the time being. Even if the McDonald’s on 21st and Maize didn’t donate meals to the Israel Defense Forces, 

I think a lot of people feel like they’ve “done their part” by reposting activism on social media, but I urge you to think again. Although verbal support is obviously very important and crucial to highlighting the terrors of the war, money makes movement. Boycotts are, historically, a great way to make your voice heard, especially with an organization leading supporters in a targeted boycott. 

If you’re in support of the Palestinian movement, consider how you can make these easy and more mindful choices in alignment with your values. 

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About the Contributors
Sascha Harvey
Sascha Harvey, Opinion Editor
Sascha Harvey is the opinon editor for The Sunflower. A junior majoring in graphic design, this is Harvey's third year on staff and second year as a section editor. He is originally from Arkansas but has no accent to speak of (unless you listen really hard). The graphic design major enjoys covering feature stories and local news. Harvey uses he/him pronouns.
Wren Johnson
Wren Johnson, Illustrator/Designer
Wren Johnson is an illustrator for The Sunflower. Johnson is a third-year communications major that loves chickens. In her free time she likes to read, draw, and hang out with friends. Johnson uses she/her pronouns.

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