Home NewsEurope Palestine Drinks Challenges Major Soft Drink Brands with Powerful Symbolism and Purpose

Palestine Drinks Challenges Major Soft Drink Brands with Powerful Symbolism and Purpose

by Thaabit Kamaar

 

Sweden – Boycotts are powerful tools for driving social and political change. By refusing to purchase products from companies that support injustices and oppressive regimes, consumers send a clear message that unethical practices will not be tolerated.

You may ask, how effective are they? Consider the sanctions imposed on countries for human rights violations, invasions, and breaches of international and humanitarian laws. These economic measures can lead to significant changes in government policies and practices.

Their effectiveness is evident throughout history, from social rights movements to the global divestment campaign against apartheid in South Africa.

Today, millions of people worldwide are boycotting companies, products, institutions, and governments affiliated with Israel in response to their ethnic cleansing of the Gaza Strip and illegal occupation of Palestine.

Despite feeling disheartened by the continued suffering of innocent Palestinian men, women, and children through air raids, ground assaults, torture, bombardment, and starvation, Mohamed Kiswani, Chairman of the Safad Foundation of Palestine Drinks, reminds us that these actions do have an impact.

“All people and consumers can have large impacts and affect any business in any market if they decide to do so. As you can see, the aggression against Ukraine made Western companies and governments take a very firm stand against the aggression and impose sanctions against Russia. It’s a commonly used method, and as a consumer, you can also do that. It’s a social responsibility as a human to stand for values and to demand that companies and corporations take a stand for justice, humanity, and liberty for everyone.”

Palestine Drinks Dual Initiative

One of the most prominent examples of the effectiveness of widespread boycotts is the impact on soft drink companies, particularly Coca-Cola and Pepsi, due to their affiliation with Israel. This is especially significant given how deeply ingrained these soft drinks are in our society.

By not purchasing these products, we have opened the door for innovative and more meaningful alternatives, such as Palestine Drinks. This brand of soft drinks was founded by three brothers of Palestinian descent in Sweden.

Kiswani said the creation of Palestine Drinks was deeply rooted in the desire to provide aid and support to the Palestinian people.

The founders of Palestine Drinks saw an opportunity to support their homeland by developing a product that could compete in the global market while channelling profits into charitable projects in Palestine. In just a few months, they have sold over four million cans.

“We saw a gap in the market with people wanting alternatives for the major international soft drink brands. So we said, why not combine and make a combination to finance or aid the Palestinian people with charity donations for orphanages, healthcare, and civilian social housing? People are living in tents, and their houses are bombarded—they need all the help that we can give them. As businessmen, we thought instead of collecting donations from each other and the community, we could start a business to aid these projects.”

The can’s design is unique and rich in Palestinian symbolism. It prominently features the olive tree, a powerful symbol of Palestinians’ connection to their land.

The keffiyeh represents the Palestinian struggle and resistance against a long history of occupation. The name “Palestine” is also prominently displayed, ensuring that people who purchase it continue to discuss Palestine and its ongoing fight for freedom, justice, and liberation.


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