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The Protocols of the Elders of Java

I have to hand it to you guys: you’re nothing if not inventive. The latest wheeze dreamed up by the Jews in their relentless quest for world domination is, it seems, the humble coffee bean. Radical leftists and Islamists (we … Read More

By / January 15, 2009

I have to hand it to you guys: you’re nothing if not inventive. The latest wheeze dreamed up by the Jews in their relentless quest for world domination is, it seems, the humble coffee bean.

Radical leftists and Islamists (we really must find an umbrella term that saves me typing all that out every time, so closely do they self-identify these days) are busily spreading the rumour that the Israeli assault on Gaza is being bankrolled by Starbucks, who have apparently donated all their profits this past two weeks to the Zionist war effort. For further details, over to our old chum Yusuf Al-Qaradawi:

“They used to hand a sign on the doors of their shops: ‘We benefit our most important partner, which is Israel, we help in the education of students in Israel, we help build up the Israeli defense arsenal,’ and so on. People go and drink their expensive coffee. Instead of paying 2 riyals for a cup of coffee, they pay 20 riyals. This Starbucks is Zionist. Why do we not teach the nation to make do with its own products, when possible, even if they are of lesser quality? This is the only way the nation will rise. My brothers, put the boycott against the nation’s enemies into action. Every riyal you pay turns into a bullet in the heart of your brothers in Gaza and in other Islamic countries.”

I’m sure I need hardly add that this is, er, grande crappucino. Starbucks has no special charitable or business links with Israel (indeed, it closed all its Israeli stores in 2003) and, as Snopes.com points out, the myth about Starbucks profits being used to fund the Israeli military comes from a spoof letter purporting to be from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, but actually penned by one Andrew Winkler and published on the ZioPedia website with a subsequent disclaimer clearly identifying it as parody. (Schultz himself is an avowed friend of Israel, which is no doubt how the story got started in the first place.)

Needless to say, satire is not the anti-war movement’s strong point. Several branches of Starbucks have been attacked in cities from Beirut to London and the chain forced to issue an official denial of this ludicrous story. But the fake Schultz memo sticks, like some ersatz internet version of the Protocols; websites republish the claims, Facebook groups pop up, and Starbucks is now semi-officially one of the financial props of the Zionist entity.

Nor is the damage restricted to overpriced coffee shops; British supermarket chain Marks and Spencer has also been targeted by demonstrators; ostensibly that’s because it stocks Israeli produce, like every other supermarket chain in Britain, but I wonder if it’s entirely coincidental that ‘Marks’ is one of this country’s more famously Jewish-founded businesses and a long-standing bugbear of anti-Semites throughout the Middle East. Indeed, if you tune into Iranian TV – and even Iranians watch the Superbowl – you will discover that there’s barely a large multinational anywhere that doesn’t siphon off profits to support the miracle on the Med. (Pepsi stands for “Pay Each Penny to Save Israel”, apparently, which I must admit sounds rather catchy.)

Of course, some might say that this is all rather handy, given those close links between the far left and the radical Islamist right; for your average member of the Socialist Workers Party, the only thing more satisfying than smashing a shopfront is surely the knowledge that you’re striking a blow for Palestine at the same time. But, deeper than that, as Brendan O’Neill points out at Spiked Online, it is arguably symptomatic of a wider malaise, what he calls a “cultural anti-Semitism” – “the projection of disillusionment with Western culture and values on to Israel, also known, in our politically illiterate times, as ‘the Jews’”.

How far that’s true I’m not sure; but it’s an interesting article and worth reading in full. In the meantime, you could do a lot worse than stopping off at Starbuck’s on your way home. Sure, it’s overpriced, but at least all those profits are being spent on shiny fighter planes.

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