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Home --> Politics --> Israel --> Starbucks


Claim:   Popular coffee maker Starbucks has closed its outlets in Israel.

Status:   True.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2003]

This article is 100% true. For verification, or to voice your opinion of their decision, you can call starbuck's international at: 1-800-STARBUC
It is time for all Americans to boycott Starbucks Coffee

Spread the word on this. They are stopping business relations with Israel, because like so many companies, people, and leaders in the world, they do not have the moral values or courage needed to do otherwise. Add this to the fact that Starbucks does tons of business in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, as well as other radical Arab countries who are working to destroy America. Where they will not pull out of and it makes it clear their stand is with the enemies of Israel and of America. Standing is something that takes moral value and courage today. And their stand indicates the lack of quality of their product. Starbucks has chosen. NOW is the time for us to choose to boycott. Let's call on everyone we can to boycott Starbucks. Spread the word. Read the article below:

[deleted text of "Starbucks Pulls Out of Israel," a 12 April 2003 Associated Press article by Helen Jung]

Origins:   In April 2003 Starbucks Corp. ended its operations in Israel by closing the six stores it had in that country. The coffee giant had first placed outlets in Israel in August 2001, creating a joint venture with Delek Group, the publicly-traded Israeli conglomerate, for this

As evidenced by the e-mail quoted above, Starbucks has drawn some criticism in the U.S. for the closure. In these politically charged times anything that smacks of preference bestowed upon Arab interests or short shrift given to Israeli interests is perceived as something that needs be protested. This simplified world view reduces complex matters to ones of good guys versus bad guys. That this system proves wholly useless when other factors interfere does little to lessen its comfort value.

Starbucks didn't remove itself from Israel because it was pro-Arab or anti-Israeli; it did so because this was the business decision that appeared to make the best sense. Although the corporation has given muddled explanations for its pull-out from Israel — sometimes citing the danger of terrorist attacks, sometimes making passing mention of "operational challenges" — the most likely reasons for the retreat were Starbucks' difficulties in dealing with its Israeli partner and the underperformance of their six stores. (Starbucks was a latecomer to an already-saturated Israeli market, didn't adapt well to local market conditions, and offered little to distinguish themselves from their competition except higher prices). As Chief Financial Officer Michael Casey said about the cessation of Starbuck's operations in Israel, "It's a difficult place to do business, as you can imagine. And we've had some disagreements of philosophy with the partner. You put those two together and we just decided it was a good time to stop."

Starbucks continues to perform well in Arab countries. Though one would suppose anti-American sentiment would undercut the coffee maker's business there, their product has proved popular even in countries where Americans are not well loved. Since Starbucks opened its first overseas outlet in 1996, it has developed into an international presence with more than 6,400 stores worldwide, including 1,400 in over thirty countries outside North America such as Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.

Barbara "coffee to go" Mikkelson

Additional information:
    Counteracting the Internet Rumor   Counteracting the Internet Rumor
  (The New York Times)
Last updated:   31 August 2007

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  Sources Sources:
    Day, Sherri.   "Counteracting the Internet Rumor."
    The New York Times.   2 June 2003.

    Gibson, Richard.   "Anti-US Sentiment Not Hurting Us."
    Dow Jones News Service.   25 April 2003.

    Gibson, Richard.   "Dissolving Israeli Joint Venture Cost 2M."
    Dow Jones News Service.   24 April 2003.

    Jung, Helen.   "Coffee in a Time of Conflict."
    The Associated Press.   12 April 2003.

    Associated Press.   "Starbucks Closes Outlets in Israel."
    The San Diego Union-Tribune.   2 April 2003   (p. A13).