Boycott Watch
Boycott Watch Op-Ed
The Opposite of Boycott

    Boycott Watch is often asked how to boycott, but our policy is not offer advice on how to create or run any boycotts, so we cannot help. We did, however, find the opposite case - a lesson on how not to boycott that we found amusing.

    It all stated about two years ago, when a series of anti-Semitic murals were painted on the sides of an abandoned car wash owned by an Arab in the inner city of Cleveland by.

    To stop the murals from being displayed once and for all, a prominent Jewish philanthropist donated money to the church next door to purchase the dilapidated building for more than 10 times it's actual value. The building was soon fenced off and whitewashed, yet still generally remains unused.

    Soon after, the people who produced the murals found a new place to post their hate messages on, a building just a few blocks away. The story raised our attention when someone sent us a letter calling for a boycott of the little store that currently hosts the murals.

    As listed in the Boycott Watch FAQ's, In order for a boycott to work, there must be significant economic impact from those who have, use or would purchase the boycott targets products of services. The building in question, however, is a neighborhood store has a primarily captive clientele, so Boycott Watch doubts that a boycott call in the local Jewish newspaper will have any impact other than making the newspaper's readers feel good.

    The opposite message, however, was sent when the first building was sold for far more than the building was worth. The message sent was anti-Semitism pays. This is why the mural painter just found another building down the street.

    In essence, the economic impact of a hate message on the first building was positive for the hate mongers, and that is exactly why the messages just found a new home. Now the hate mongers expect more money by selling the second building.

    The lesson is that is was a mistake to purchase the first building as a way of removing the murals since the positive economic impact for hate mongering only encouraged murals on the other building. Thus, they boycott call was ridiculous.

    Economic impact drives everything, and that is what drives Boycotts and Boycott Watch reporting. If you are planning a boycott, be consistent. Don't feed a lion and then expect it not to bite your head off.

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 ©2006 Boycott Watch