Saturday, January 17, 2009

starbucks ‘schultz letter’ is a hoax

Above: Starbucks boarded up tonight on Shaftesbury Avenue, central London after being attacked for having Jewish links.

A report on indymedia about the Starbucks attack tonight, has comments full of the usual indymoronic justifications for violent attacks on innocent people, while protesting at violent attacks on innocent people. There is one interesting comment by someone calling themselves 'count to ten', which seems a very good idea, as the charges against Starbucks may all be based on a hoax;
"Many of the claims about ‘Zionist coffee’ and a link between Starbucks and the Israeli military spring from a letter allegedly written by CEO Howard Schultz. Dated 11 July 2006, and titled ‘A Thank You To All Starbucks Customers’, Schultz apparently said that ‘with every cup you drink at Starbucks you are helping with a noble cause’: ensuring the ‘continued viability and prospering of the Jewish State’. Schultz seems to say that the $5 billion donated by America to Israel every year is ‘no way near enough to pay for all the weaponry, bulldozers and security fences needed to protect innocent Israeli citizens from anti-Semitic Muslim terrorism. Corporate sponsorships are essential [too]’. Schultz thanks Starbucks customers for helping him to raise ‘hundreds of millions of dollars each year’ to support the state of Israel. This seemingly Starbucks-damning letter has been on the internet for two-and-a-half years, and it now underpins much of the current anti-Starbucks, pro-Gaza protesting. It has appeared on anti-war websites; it has been cited as evidence by those spreading the ‘Boycott Starbucks’ SMS; Daily Egypt, an English-language paper in Cairo, says that ‘Egyptians and Arabs [have been] circulating emails’ containing the Schultz letter.

However, the ‘Schultz letter’ is a hoax; worse than that, it’s a piece of satire that has been accepted by some people as fact. The letter was written, not by Schultz, but by Andrew Winkler, an Australian-based ‘anti-Zionist media activist’ of German origin. It was published as a parody of Schultz, and clearly advertised as a parody, on the anti-Zionist website ZioPedia on 11 July 2006. Winkler later wrote: ‘The Howard Schultz spoof letter has caused quite a bit of a stir… Howard Schultz never wrote that letter, I did.’ Yet now it has become something like a modern, internet-shared version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion: a hoax document supposedly written by a Jew which is cited by some people as evidence of Zionist wickdness.
Imagine being in Starbucks having an innocent cup of coffee, and then being attacked by a mob. This was an act of racist terror in central London. The fact that Starbucks CEO Mr Schultz is Jewish seems to be the real reason the company is being singled out. Even if he does support Israel, there is no justification for attacking coffee shops in central London. Starbucks makes very good coffee by the way, far better than McDonalds.

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