picket new Starbucks venue
Company founder decried as Zionist
Daily Star (Lebanon)
8 May 2002
Even before the newest Starbucks branch officially opened, protestors
lined up to say no to the Seattle-based chain, which
is owned by an outspoken supporter of Israel.
In recent weeks, a number of US chains have faced boycotts and
demonstrations by Lebanese activists protesting the perceived pro-Israeli
stand taken by the United States.
Bliss Street, across from the American University in Beiruts
main gate, was set to be the latest site for Starbucks, but Friday,
a day before its official opening, activists staged a sit-in to
protest both the US governments position and that of the chains
On Tuesday, a handful of AUB students followed suit. Holding banners
calling for the boycott of American products, they distributed flyers
denouncing Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz as an active
The flyers cited a recent statement Schultz made at a synagogue
in Seattle, Washington, geared toward rallying support for Israels
latest onslaught in the Occupied Territories, in which he accused
Palestinians of not doing enough to stop terror.
The flyer, which also said that Schultz was honored in 1998 by
Israel for his services, seemed to raise awareness as
several passersby told The Daily Star they were considering boycotting
I didnt know about these facts. I just read them, and
now Im thinking about the boycott, AUB student Rima
Jack Dagilaitis, a US citizen who has lived in Beirut for 30 years,
saw the protest on his way to the American Language Center where
he serves as director. He encouraged the protesters, saying he was
outraged by his countrys policies.
But some students did not seem so concerned, and sipped from cardboard
cups bearing the Starbucks logo.
Theyre exaggerating in their acts, said AUB student
Charbel Younes. He criticized the protesters for attending an American
university and for wearing jeans and shoes which, he said, were
made in the United States. They should boycott everything
Mohammed Rustom, an AUB student and one of the main protesters,
chalked such claims up to ignorance.
They wake up in the morning and they see Nike and DKNY in
the mirror, so its natural for them to speak out against the
boycott, he said.
Meanwhile, a Starbucks manager standing quietly nearby refused to