protest singles out Starbucks
as supporter of Israel -
Research pays off with disturbing facts about pro-Zionist corporation
Daily Star (Lebanon)
22 June 2002
As part of their commitment to forge ahead with boycotting American-made
products, activists organized a peaceful sit-in on the doorstep
of Starbucks Hamra branch protesting the coffee companys
moral and economic support for Israel.
More than 50 people demonstrated Friday evening in front of the
American coffee franchise, with protesters distributing free Arabic
coffee with cardamon while clattering the traditional cups around
exclaiming: Wake up and smell the Starbucks coffee facts.
Protesters from the Al-Saha Club, Act Now and the Union of
Democratic Lebanese Youth, and including students and staff from
the American University of Beirut also distributed flyers
explaining their discontent.
About 500 brochures depicting a swirl of steam wafting from a Starbucks
coffee cup forming the shape of the Israeli flag were distributed
by the protesters to passers-by.
Some 20 customers turned away from the American cafe upon reading
CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Starbucks, Howard Schultz,
is a Zionist advocate
He visited Israel as a guest of the
Theodore Herzl mission, a group promoting the Zionist relationship
to the land of Palestine, the brochure said.
Schultz regularly tours American campuses to promote Israeli
His work on behalf of Israel has earned him an
award from an ultra-Zionist group called Aish Ha-Torah and praise
from Israels Foreign Ministry, it continued.
The flyers also alleged that last year Starbucks invested heavily
in an Israeli fuel companies called Delek forming a joint
venture, Shalom Coffee Co., that now has some 20 branches across
the Jewish state.
Coming at the height of the Palestinian intifada when the
Israeli economy was suffering greatly from the tremendous costs
of putting down Palestinians, Starbucks investment enabled
the poorly performing Israeli company to recoup, said activist
Starbucks even helped the Israeli company gain international
assets by purchasing 234 American gas stations and convenience stores,
added Idriss, who said she spends on average six hours per day surfing
the web in search of multinational companies which support Israel.
The boycott campaign against American goods, which has been picking
up steam with a string of independent groups and activists, was
born following Israels offensive against the West Bank in
Protesters hold US foreign policy in the region and Washingtons
bias toward Israel as responsible for Prime Minister Ariel Sharons
campaign against the Palestinian people.
In the midst of these boycott activities, Schultz threw oil on
the fire and angered those independent groups when he said in a
Seattle synagogue that Palestinians arent doing their
job, theyre not stopping terrorism.
Since then, at least three Starbucks branches were targeted by
boycott activists and the international corporation released a statement
published on their website saying that Schultz
was expressing his personal opinion as a private citizen and not
that of the corporation.
But Robert MacGregor, an American who works in a company that produces
paper towels and who happened to pass by the protest, told the activists
that he worked against the apartheid regime in South Africa.
He maintained that in the United States whenever a CEO was found
to support South Africas then-discriminatory regime, he was
immediately fired. MacGregor said Arabs needed to be more active
to ensure CEOs like Schultz would be similarly fired for supporting
Meanwhile, CNN reported in the Lou Dobbs show Wednesday that the
boycott of US products in Saudi Arabia was working as exports to
the kingdom have fallen by 40 percent since April.