Starbucks Israel Rumors Spur Company’s CEO To Address Issue

Rumors of Starbucks funding the Israeli Defense Forces have lead the company to address the situation between itself and Israel.

According to CNN Money, the Seattle-based coffee chain went to unusual lengths this week to address the Starbucks-Israel rumors and refute them.

“The coffee chain has issued a statement announcing that neither Starbucks nor CEO Howard Schultz ‘provides financial support to Israel,’ or to its army, in the wake of what Starbucks called ‘false rumors.’

“The company, which is known for flooding markets with its stores, also pointed out that it closed all of its stores in Israel in 2003 because of ‘operational challenges.’

“Spokesman Jim Olson wouldn’t specify what challenges the company faced in Israel, but did say the decision to leave ‘was not related to political issues.’

“The company has publicly refuted claims about its support for Israel before, but reiterated its position because it saw an ‘uptick in false rumors out there about Starbucks and the Middle East,’ according to Olson.”

The Starbucks-Israel rumors even caused the company to launch a question and answer section on its corporate website refuting the rumors about the company somehow supporting the IDF and the Israeli government.

In one of the more interesting Starbucks-Israel Q&A posts, the company went to lengths to talk about how it avoids taking a position on anything religious or political.

“In countries where we do business, we are proud to be a part of the fabric of the local community — working directly with local business partners who operate our stores, employing thousands of local citizens, serving millions of customers and positively impacting many others through our support of local neighborhoods and cities.

“Our 300,000 partners around the globe have diverse views about a wide range of topics. 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 post from the company on Friday (August 8) comes as the 72-hour ceasefire between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas fighters has now ended, with Hamas vowing to continue launching rockets into Israel and Israel not appearing to back down, either.

All of this comes as Egypt has attempted to broker a peace between the warring parties, but to no avail, according to a report that appeared in the news website Al-Monitor, which reported that Hamas has been pressured to accept Egypt’s brokered deal.

[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]