Ignorance has surprising consequences – NRK Norway – An overview of news from different parts of the country

Ignorance has surprising consequences – NRK Norway – An overview of news from different parts of the country

Spiro Spathis is also known as Spathis, which you may have never heard of before. For many years it was not the drink of choice for thirsty Egyptians.

But after the war between Gaza and Israel began 50 days ago, things completely took off for Egypt’s traditional soft drink maker.

– Demand has tripled in the past month, Morcus Talaat, the company’s marketing manager and one of the three siblings who own the company, tells Al Jazeera.

Recently, there has been an increase in campaigns in the Middle East encouraging boycotts of both Israeli products. and Western brands such as McDonald’s, Starbucks and Coca-Cola.

– In the case of Egypt, follow social media very closely.

says Lain Khatib, head of the Palestine Committee in Norway.

He points out that it is difficult to hold free demonstrations in Egypt, which is why social media becomes more important during such campaigns.

Line Khatib is the head of the Palestine Committee in Norway.

Photo: Pete Oma Dahle / NTP

The saddle came off

Spathis was started by Greek beekeepers immigrating to Egypt in 1920 and has the same status as “Solo” in Norway.

In recent decades, they have been nowhere near the top of the list. Now they are struggling with a sudden demand.

Al Jazeera spoke to Mohammed, who runs a grocery store in Sharqia, Egypt.

– The store owner says there were always some consumers who preferred Spiro to other drinks, but not many.

Before the boycott gained momentum, he was selling four to five boxes of Spathi a week.

– Now I have so much stock that I can sell up to 50 boxes a day, and the increase in demand is “enormous,” he says.

Foreign Minister Espan Barth Ide (AP)

Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide does not want a boycott.

Photo: Matthias Revheim-Raphaelson / NRK

Many criticize

For years there have been calls around the world to boycott Israeli goods and services. The same applies to companies investing in occupied territories.

This applies to shoe manufacturer Puma as it sponsors several football teams in the occupied territories.

Lain Khatib at the Palestine Committee believes what they are doing can be equated with violating the laws of war.

Ignorance, he says, is not an end in itself, but a tool for those seeking influence.

– The boycott raises awareness of Israel’s illegal occupation, says Khatib.

Pepsi-owned SodaStream has received a lot of criticism. They finally chose to move production from the occupied West Bank to Israeli territory.

During a protest in Yogyakarta to show their solidarity with the Palestinian people, demonstrators carried banners calling for a boycott of pro-Israel products and companies.

There have been recent protests around the world in support of the boycott of Israeli products and brands that allegedly support Israel.

Photo: Devi Rahman / AFP

– Bad solution

Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said it was not appropriate for Norway to support the boycott of Israeli goods and services.

– As for products produced on occupied land, we already have a system in Norway for them to be better marked, says Ede.

He believes that focusing on the two-state solution is more important than boycotting.

But for some, the international focus on boycotts has produced positive results.

– In recent weeks, we’ve received hundreds of phone calls from new customers and offers from restaurants, says Morgus Talat at soft drink manufacturer Spiro Spathis.

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Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

"Music geek. Coffee lover. Devoted food scholar. Web buff. Passionate internet guru."

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