Tags: starbucks. israel | rumor

Starbucks Israel Rumors: Is Coffee Giant Really Anti-Israel?

Image: Starbucks Israel Rumors: Is Coffee Giant Really Anti-Israel?
Palestinian flags fly across the sign of the Stars & Bucks Cafe in Manara Square on July 10, 2007 in the centre of Ramallah, the West Bank's most cosmopolitan Palestinian city. (David Silverman/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 30 Nov 2014 12:57 PM

In 2003, Starbucks retrenched on a global expansion effort that resulted in the Seattle-based coffee retail giant leaving Israel. In the years since, persistent rumors about the company’s leadership being anti-Israeli have surfaced.

Since the store closings occurred, company officials have asserted the closings were purely for business, rather than political, reasons.

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In August 2014, rumors of Starbucks being anti-Israel reached a new height, and the company’s public relations department issued a revised FAQ sheet about the decision to leave Israel. 

“Our 300,000 partners around the globe have diverse views about a wide range of topics,” the statement reads. “Regardless of that spectrum of beliefs, Starbucks has been and remains a non-political organization. We do not support any political or religious cause.”

The statement continues, “What we do believe in, and remain focused on, is staying true to our company’s longstanding heritage — simply connecting with our partners and customers over a cup of high quality coffee and offering the best experience possible to them, regardless of geographical location.”

In the statement, Starbucks officials attempt to back up their statement with facts and figures about the company’s footprint. As of 2014, Starbucks has stores in 65 countries. An estimated 600 stores are within a dozen Middle Eastern and North African countries.

The rumors of Starbucks being involved in political causes are frequently linked to the company’s CEO, Howard Schultz, who is of Israeli descent. In various media reports, Schultz, described as a Jewish American, has urged peace in the Middle East as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has continued.

Websites and blogs such as Now the End Begins (NTEB) have opined on Starbucks’ statement on the continued decision to refrain from operating in Israel. Articles begin with such eye-catching headlines as, “Starbucks Hates Israel and their CEO is Bragging About their Muslim Operation.” 

In the NTEB article, issued immediately after Starbucks made its August 2014 statement, the author takes aim at the coffee company for not going into more detail, beyond business decisions, for the Israeli store closures in 2003.

“Starbucks closed all their stores over 11 years ago in the Holy Land, and today’s announcement effectively reveals they are boycotting Israel,” read a statement within the article.

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In 2003, Starbucks retrenched on a global expansion effort that resulted in the Seattle-based coffee retail giant leaving Israel. In the years since, persistent rumors about the company’s leadership being anti-Israeli have surfaced.
starbucks. israel, rumor
384
2014-57-30
Sunday, 30 Nov 2014 12:57 PM
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