When I began this blog, it was my intention to keep it strictly focused on the art of Palestine, and not to use it as a sounding block for pro-Palestinian politics. This is not to say the two things are unrelated — to the contrary, the art coming out of Palestine and from those living in exile is often explicitly political, and in all cases is shaped by the ongoing occupation of Palestine. My feeling was, and largely still remains, that this is a place for contemplation rather than debate. In light of the latest assault on Gaza, however, I have been doing a lot of talking with friends about BDS. What started as a conversation bemoaning the affiliation of MAC cosmetics with Zionist causes rapidly turned into a project; I spent the better part of a day compiling a list of cosmetics, health and personal care brands to avoid if you’re boycotting Israel, along with alternative products to use.
The process was abysmal. Surely, I have taken care never to underestimate US corporate ties with Israel, but even so, the explicit connections and the vast scope of products involved is frankly demoralizing. That said, the boycott of Israeli goods is a vital step towards liberation for Palestine, and if you are interested in learning more, visit the BDS website and consult the list below.
A note about the scope and content: I focused on health and beauty items because they are the items I use most in my daily life, and because my friends — who seem disproportionately to be incredibly beautiful and well-groomed femmes — wanted to know about the products they are using. To do an exhaustive list is impossible at this juncture, though I hope to make lists focused on different sales arenas in the future. Topically, it bears repeating that Palestine is a feminist issue — we as women and/or feminist advocates should remember this as we make choices about the kind of products we buy for our bodies.
The list is after the cut, please share widely!