Israel and Hamas – Nov. 21
The war and subsequent humanitarian crisis have become key topics at global events in Asia. Japan finds itself caught in the conflict with one of its cargo vessels being seized by Houthi militants.
Boycotts of foreign goods and services linked to Israel continue to expand in Indonesia and Malaysia. Even in Singapore, a home-grown brand faces a social media backlash for its comments on the crisis. People in Australia continue their efforts to support Palestine, with even the national soccer team getting involved now. A deadly strike on the Indonesian hospital in Gaza raises concerns for Indonesian citizens caught there.
- The Israel-Hamas conflict has become a key topic at global summits. At the 30th APEC Summit, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia issued a joint statement calling for an immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce to end hostilities. The countries also pushed for immediate, continuous, and uninterrupted provision of essential goods and services needed to civilians in the strip. At the recent Voice of Global South Summit held virtually, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, urged leaders of developing nations to unite in the face of growing challenges due to the war.
- There are increasing efforts from China to boost its peacemaker role. A delegation of foreign ministers from the Palestinian Authority, Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan are in Beijing this week for talks aimed at a “de-escalation” of the conflict.
- A British-owned cargo vessel operated by Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line), has been seized in the Red Sea, with Israel claiming that Yemen’s Houthi militants are responsible. In a statement, the Houthis said they captured an Israeli vessel and have sailed it to Yemen. The Israeli prime minister’s office said that it strongly condemns the Iranian attack against an international vessel. Israel has also said the ship was not Israeli.
- Boycotts of goods escalate in Indonesia and Malaysia. In Indonesia, the Ulema Council has called for a boycott of the purchase of 121 products – mainly food and beverages, but also health products – that it believes are ‘linked’ to Israel directly or indirectly. This is following consumers boycotting McDonald’s in mid-October after the company announced on social media that it had handed out thousands of free meals to the Israeli military amid the war. The announcement prompted several Indonesian organisations, including Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), the United People Front (FUB) and the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), to call for a boycott of McDonald’s and other businesses perceived to be pro-Israel, including Starbucks and Burger King. Even in Malaysia, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has urged Malaysians to continue boycotting products produced by companies linked to Israel.
- Social media unrest in Singapore sparks issues for homegrown fashion brand. Beyond The Vines (BTV) faces backlash from social media users surrounding its founder’s online comments concerning the war. While the co-founders have issued an apology, the online reaction to the apology was made has been mixed.
- Pro-Palestine support continues to escalate in Australia. Tens of thousands of people have rallied across the country at pro-Palestine rallies while demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. Moreover, Australia’s soccer team players will donate a portion of their match fees from their World Cup qualifying fixture to Palestine on Tuesday towards Oxfam’s ongoing humanitarian efforts in Gaza.
- Indonesia strongly condemns the recent attack on its hospital. A deadly strike on the Indonesian Hospital in the Gaza Strip killed 12 people. Indonesia has said it has lost contact with three of its citizens who were volunteering at the Indonesian hospital.
For additional counsel on geopolitical matters, please contact your
Weber Shandwick client service team or get in touch
- The content of this news bulletin is a summary of publicly available news articles on events and developments related to Asia Pacific business sectors
- The views and opinions reflected by these headlines do not necessarily represent those of Weber Shandwick