Tags: starbucks | israel | meme | twitter

Starbucks Israel Meme: Twitter All Over Coffee Giant's Controversy

By    |   Monday, 24 Nov 2014 10:32 PM

A debate over Starbucks and its involvement in Israel was renewed in 2014, 11 years after the Seattle coffee retailer closed all of its stores in the country. Social media websites, including Twitter, has fanned some of the flames surrounding this controversy.

Twitter users of various racial and ethnic backgrounds have circulated a meme about the throughout the latter half of 2014 calling for boycotts against divestment sanctions, stopping Israeli apartheid child prisons and ending the theft of water, oil and gas.

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A statement was released from Starbucks that said neither the company, nor company CEO Howard Schultz, has provided funds to the Israeli government or Israeli army.

But the meme endures and has been shared on Twitter and other social media channels. It names Starbucks to a list of 27 companies that “finance genocide.” Other heavyweights on the list include Coca Cola, Disney, Home Depot and McDonald’s. 

Starbucks officials have attempted to discredit rumors of the Israeli funding, while at the same time reiterating the company’s 2003 decision to close all Israeli stores as a strictly business decision, not as a political one.

Schultz, who is of Israeli descent, grew up in a Jewish household in Brooklyn, N.Y. Depending upon the specific circumstance, the Starbucks CEO has either been accused of supporting or not supporting Israeli interests.

An August 2014 article in the Jewish Week newspaper, written after the most recent  controversy, Schultz said he “keeps his religious sentiments and commitments very private.” 

After Starbucks issued its statement, a number of Jewish leaders continued to take aim at the coffee company, one being Rabbi Marc D. Angel, whose background includes a stint as the former president of the Rabbinical Council of America. In a mass email, Rabbi Angel said he will distance himself from Starbucks.

“Those of us who care deeply about Israel can find other places to get our coffee,” Rabbi Angel stated in the email.

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A debate over Starbucks and its involvement in Israel was renewed in 2014, 11 years after the Seattle coffee retailer closed all of its stores in the country. Social media websites, including Twitter, has fanned some of the flames surrounding this controversy.
starbucks, israel, meme, twitter
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2014-32-24
Monday, 24 Nov 2014 10:32 PM
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