A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

Another non-Zionist venti: more on Starbucks and Israel

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on January 31, 2009

This post is an update on the issue of whether Starbucks’ profits have been used to support Israel, which I posted about earlier this month. Its intended especially for those who had been following the exchange of comments between Mart Stuart, Nimrod, and Kheireddine.

My aunt has posted an email she had received from a friend regarding Starbucks and its NON-connection to the Israeli government and/or military forces.

You can find the same text – a press release on “Facts about Starbucks in the Middle East”, available in Arabic and English, on the Starbucks’ website.

Or you can read it here:

It is disheartening that calls for boycotts of Starbucks stores and products, which are based on blatant untruths, have had direct impacts on local economies and residents, and have also led to violent situations involving our stores, partners (employees) and customers.

Our more than 160,000 partners and business associates around the globe have diverse views about a wide range of topics. Regardless of that spectrum of belief, Starbucks Coffee Company remains a non-political organization. We do not support any political or religious cause. Further, allegations that Starbucks provides financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army in any way are unequivocally false. Unfortunately, these rumors persist despite our best efforts to refute them.

What we do believe in, and remain focused on, is staying true to our company’s long-standing 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. Though our roots are in the United States, we are a global company with stores in 49 countries, including more than 230 stores in nine Middle Eastern countries. In countries where we do business, we are proud to be a part of the fabric of the local community — working directly with local partners who operate our stores, employing thousands of local citizens, serving millions of customers and positively impacting many others through our support of neighborhoods and cities.

Is it true that Starbucks provides financial support to Israel?

No. This is absolutely untrue. Rumors that Starbucks Coffee Company 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. In addition, articles in the London Telegraph (U.K.), New Straits Times (Malaysia), and Spiked (online) provide an outside perspective on these false rumors.

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 is teaming with other American corporations to send their last several weeks of profits to the Israeli government and/or the 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.

Middle East Partnership and Operations

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 more than 274 Starbucks stores in the Middle East and Levant region. In addition to its Starbucks stores, the Alshaya Group operates more than 1,700 other retail stores in the region, providing jobs for more than 15,000 employees of more than 35 nationalities.

We are extremely fortunate and proud to have forged a successful partnership for the past ten years and look forward to building on this success.

In which Middle Eastern countries do you operate?

We partner with Alshaya Group to operate Starbucks stores in Egypt, Kuwait, KSA, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Jordan and Lebanon in the Middle East region. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with so many communities, and we are committed to providing the Starbucks Experience while respecting the local customs and cultures of each country we are a part of. We are also committed to hiring locally, providing jobs to thousands of local citizens in the countries where we operate.

Are you still operating Starbucks stores in Israel? If not, 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.


7 Responses to “Another non-Zionist venti: more on Starbucks and Israel”

  1. Starbucks in israel closed due to
    1 mismanagment.
    2 israelis didn’t want to pay through the nose for a crappy cup of coffee.

    Israel is filled to the brim with coffee shops and cafe’s the introduction of Starbucks was welcomed but as 1 and 2 point out it was doomed from the start.
    i for one don’t miss them at all.
    as for the people that demand the boycott? they are idiots. they don’t understand anything you show them as proof.
    Hell they even say Boycott SARA LEE. well that’s another thing that isn’t in Israel

    • gj said

      CRAPPY COFFEE, HA-HA. Damn straight! It’s amazing how sheeple are so easy to con. They don’t even realize they’re ga-ga for coffee made from burnt beans, & getting less caffeine in the process!

  2. Dear Robert,

    Thank you for your comment. (I edited the typos for clarity but left your words and thoughts intact.) As I’ve said before, I am not a coffee drinker, but I do understand that Starbucks coffee draws strong reactions: people either really like it, or they really dislike it. And in the case of the Israeli franchises, I agree with you: it does seem that they closed for lack of business, not politics.

    I haven’t heard anything about a Sara Lee boycott – go figure!

  3. Sorry about the Typos.. fat fingers I guess…..;-)
    there is a ton of info on the Boycotts here in world press. they even post little posters with company names, i laugh each time i see them cause there are more then the starbuucks mistakes involved. stuff like JC Penny. home Depot etc. neither of them have stores here.
    then they scream Intel and microsoft,,,,
    which really makes me laugh cause most of them are posting this stuff using the stuff they scream at us to boycott…

  4. The reason that a lot of people are still boycotting Starbucks is because of the CEO’s zionist tendencies. I’m not stating I agree or disagree with any of this, but it’s clear that his money has gone, in large amounts, to support Israel. Additionally, individual Starbucks stores are given discretionary funds for charities; much of that money has gone to US Jewish/zionist groups.

  5. Bruno Paris said

    Dear Readers:

    Please note that this comment comes from Mark, now calling himself Bruno Paris.



    begin comment:

    With all due respect to you Adiamondinsunlight, it is disheartening to find a new post on the same topic arguing once more against the boycott of Starbucks when you have yet to make a case against Mark’s argumentation for the boycott in your previous post!

    Is there here a bias on your part Adiamondinsunlight? It would be fine. One is entitled to any bias after all.
    But i just thought that the main goal of a debate and discussion was a fair intellectual assessment of the topic at hand and an exchange of arguments and counter arguments. And not a succession of repeated opinions hoping that it would eventually sink in by the sheer power of repetition. Posting on here Starbucks PR messages pulled out of their website doesn’t make your blog appealing to the poeple in search of “a multi-faceted look at the middle east”.

    You made your case for not boycotting the company. Mark tried to make his arguing on facts and not hearsay . And you come back with the same discourse!

    By doing so Adiamondinsunlight, you are dragging myself and the readers into the same Middle Eastern pattern that consists of not listening to your interlocutor and keeping interjecting your own opinions over and over again, hoping that your argument would eventually prevail!

    My goal is not to prevail here for the sake of prevailing, or give you or Mark for that matter the thumbs up. My goal is to make a difference by aiming at the ugly side of zionism and boycotting a company who is led by a man openly and contemptuously pro-zionist and whose ties and funding of zionist organizations is well documented. My buck to Starbucks does contribute the zionist cause, hence my appeal for the boycott of Starbucks.

    Until you can prove my case wrong, until you can prove that Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz never received “The Israel 50th Anniversary Friend of Zion Tribute Award” for his services to the zionist state, until you can prove to me that he does not support and fund zionist organizations like Aish HaTorah I will stay away from Starbucks and ask anyone who is appalled by what zionism has done to the cause of the Jewish people and the Palestinian one to boycott Starbucks and the likes.

    Bruno Paris

  6. Bruno Paris said

    What kind of editorial ethic is THAT?!
    It’s one thing to be biased and not able to carry an intelligent structured productive conversation. It’s an other to attribute a post to others indiscriminately! This is not a recipe for a successful blog, if it ever was your goal!You lost one damn good reader if you ever knew.
    What you couldn’t know is that you had through me the potential for great exposure!


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