McDonald’s is Hurting from Gaza War-Related Boycott – CEO Decries ‘Misinformation’

A campaign to boycott McDonalds. (Photo: Palestine Information Center)

The world’s largest multinational corporation has declared that its profit margins are shrinking due to a boycott over the Israeli war on Gaza. 

McDonald’s franchises in the Middle East have experienced a “meaningful business impact” in 2023 from boycotts associated with the Gaza conflict, the fast-food giant’s Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski has said.

In a LinkedIn post, Kempczinski lauded the company’s accomplishments over the past year, but admitted that “several markets in the Middle East and some outside the region are experiencing a meaningful business impact” due to the Gaza war and the “associated misinformation.”

“This is disheartening and ill-founded,” he added. 

“In every country where we operate, including in Muslim countries, McDonald’s is proudly represented by local owner operators who work tirelessly to serve and support their communities while employing thousands of their fellow citizens.”

The hearts of everyone at McDonald’s are with “the communities and families impacted by the war in the Middle East,” Kempczinski insisted. “We abhor violence of any kind and firmly stand against hate speech, and we will always proudly open our doors to everyone.”

While Kempczinski did not give any estimates of the losses from the boycott, their full extent may be revealed later this month, when McDonald’s is scheduled to issue an earnings report.

McDonald’s was inserted into the Gaza war debate in mid-October, mostly because of the behavior of its company’s franchisee in Israel, which boasted on social media about giving free meals to Israeli soldiers and police. 

McDonald’s was not the only company to show solidarity with Israel but was one of the first to do so. This support continued even after the Israeli war on Gaza turned into an outright genocide that killed and wounded tens of thousands of civilians. 

This triggered franchises in Oman, Türkiye, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates to respond by donating to Palestinian causes – and activists across the Muslim world to call for boycotts of the brand. Other Western corporations – Starbucks, Coca-Cola, IBM, Nestle and KFC, to name a few – have faced similar backlash. 

Attempts at finding a more balanced position, however, made little difference, as the boycott movement grew stronger in following weeks, ultimately affecting the company’s total earnings. 

GAR, the McDonald’s franchisee in Malaysia, has responded by suing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement last month for allegedly “false and defamatory statements” about the chain. The company has asked for damages in the amount of 6 million ringgit ($1.31 million) to compensate for revenue and job losses.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health,  22,722 Palestinians have been killed, and 58,166 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

(PC, RT, Social Media) 

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1 Comment

  1. How wonderful it would be to see locally run cafes springing up, cooking and serving traditional, healthy, delicious food, in place of boring Maccas, with their American burgers’n fries. Nothing like travelling through the Middle East and eating yummy food that has evolved over hundreds of years of tradition.

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