Picture by Sharif
I’ve been hearing about boycott campaigns against Starbucks ever since I was in AUB some 10 years ago, and every time there’s a new conflict between Arabs and Israel, people ask for a new boycott and Starbucks once again updates its facts section to re-assert that it does not fund the Israeli government in anyway. I suggest you read this article to figure out if Starbucks is Zionist or not.
Personally speaking, I’ve been going to Starbucks since 2002 and never stopped simply because by boycotting Starbucks branches in Lebanon or anywhere in the Arab World, I am actually harming Lebanese employees and a Kuwaiti group (Alshaya WLL) and definitely not Howard Schultz (Remember Tripoli’s KFC?). Moreover, I don’t believe in boycotts in the first place and don’t think they will get anywhere specially in today’s world.
This being said, I respect people who wish to boycott Starbucks or any other “Zionist” business in their opinion, but I urge them to do it without spreading fake letters and stories and without intimidating others who don’t like boycotts.
You can find below the most recent facts about Starbucks in the Middle East, updated as of August 2014.
Is it true that Starbucks or Howard Schultz provides financial support to Israel?
No. This is absolutely untrue. Rumors that Starbucks or Howard provides financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army are unequivocally false. Starbucks is a publicly held company and as such, is required to disclose any corporate giving each year through a proxy statement.
Has Starbucks ever sent any of its profits to the Israeli government and/or Israeli army?
No. This is absolutely untrue.
Is it true that Starbucks closed its stores in Israel for political reasons?
No. We do not make business decisions based on political issues. We decided to dissolve our partnership in Israel in 2003 due to the on-going operational challenges that we experienced in that market. After many months of discussion with our partner we came to this amicable decision. While this was a difficult decision for both companies, we believe it remains the right decision for our businesses.
Do you have plans to re-open should the opportunity arise?
We decided to dissolve our partnership in Israel in 2003 due to the on-going operational challenges that we experienced in that market.
When and where the business case makes sense and we see a fit for the Starbucks brand in a market we will work closely with a local partner to assess the feasibility of offering our brand to that community. We will therefore continue to assess all opportunities on this basis. At present, we will continue to grow our business in the Middle East as we have been very gratified by the strong reception of the brand in the region. We continue to work closely with our business partner, the Alshaya Group, in developing our plans for the region.
Do you work with a Middle East partner to operate Starbucks stores?
Through a licensing agreement with trading partner and licensee MH Alshaya WLL, a private Kuwait family business, Starbucks has operated in the Middle East since 1999. Today Alshaya Group, recognized as one of the leading and most influential retailing franchisees in the region, operates nearly 600 Starbucks stores in the Middle East and Levant region. In addition to its Starbucks stores, the Alshaya Group operates more than 2,600 retail stores in the Middle East, Russia and North Africa, providing jobs for more than 40,000 employees of more than 110 nationalities.
We are extremely fortunate and proud to have forged a successful partnership for the past fifteen years and look forward to building on this success. [via Starbucks]
Starbucks as a company doesn’t, but its chairman and CEO Howard Schultz is a staunchly pro-Israel Zionist and a very important contributor to the Zionist’s propaganda machine. He has actually won awards for his support of Israel and Zionism movements over the years.
And how can you say you don’t believe in Boycotting? would you rather have wars? how else would you fight oppression peacefully if not by peaceful demonstrations and cultural and commercial boycotting? I will have you know that boycott movements played a huge role in ending the apartheid in South Africa, and what is happening now in Palestine and Israel is awfully similar.
Anyway, forget about Zionism for a moment, everybody should boycott Starbucks based solely on the ridiculously overpriced coffee .
Boycotting is useless. I never heard of boycotting a corporation that went broke. Second, Starbucks’ coffee is cheap unless you are comparing it to uncle Deek’s sewage water-based coffee.
Assume that people boycott starbucks Lebanon. How will that affect the CEO’s (not the company’s) salary or his contributions to whatever claims some people make?
Starbucks has 18,000 stores in the world! How much impact will boycotting or even shutting down the couple of stores in Lebanon have?
As Najib says, boycotting will only harm Lebanese employees. Starbucks is a good employer last time I heard!
“How will that affect the CEO” … what a stupid thing to say. yeah i suppose it will be easy for the CEO to explain to the management board that their sales have dropped (even if only slightly) because of his political views.
and don’t worry about the Lebanese employees, Costa will be happy to take over or some other coffee shop for that matter.
I also don’t believe in boycotting I think its stupid and will not get anywhere especially in Lebanon. Sorry but my daily chocolate Frappuccino is a sacred everyday routine which I will give up for nobody. Besides boycotting Starbucks assuming for a second it actually happens and nobody goes anymore will only hurt the Lebanese employees who will be out of jobs as you said.
Sorry to say but u people r sickening. While ppl due in worst ways ur mahiin hits. Oh my frapicunoo oh . Hope lebanon turns into a war zone so u taste death u heartless ppl
Ah don’t worry lebanon has had its share of past wars. I think we’re good. And btw its Frappuccino! And yes it is that good.
Oh no! your daily chocolate Frappuccino routine… I bet you’re fat
Hmm you’re right. Must be all those Frappuccinos.
Don’t have much to add to what Elie said, but i think we’d be doing the employees a favor, maybe then they can have better working conditions and salary.
BTW Cynthia, sorry to be so rude, but you can shove that frappucino high up, maybe then you’ll feel something .
Nop! Still nothing. Must be the crushed ice!
it’s sad to read some of the comments here, it shows how much most of us don’t read much, and take personal opinion as personal facts. Najib, Pat, Rick, how can you actually believe that boycotting doesn’t affect any corporation? please read this article:
Israel loses eight billion dollars and Arab parties join the boycott – https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/10590-israel-loses-eight-billion-dollars-and-arab-parties-join-the-boycott
and i quote the article: “Israel has incurred losses of around eight billion dollars due to the boycott campaign against illegal settlements, equivalent to 20 per cent of their GDP.”
PAT, you never heard of a company that went broke because of boycotts? have you heard about Sodastream?
boycotts do work!