How closely does Andreas Babler really follow the media? Supporters of the anti-Semitic and fundamentalist terrorist organization Hamas have been protesting against Starbucks for several days. They are calling for a boycott of the coffee house chain, chanting anti-Semitic slogans at individual branches and harassing guests. Against this background, it is particularly tactless when the SPÖ leader speaks out against this company at the federal party conference – as if nothing had happened.
Babler literally said: “We fight for people who pay more taxes than Starbucks.” This saying troubled many people. “Anyone who continues to incite outrage against Starbucks in a party conference speech over the current situation in which #Starbucks locations are being attacked by anti-Semites because the company’s founder is Jewish is either a huge idiot Or anti-Semite!” One.
Apparently the party headquarters did not find this worrying at all. The quote was also posted online there.
Starbucks founder Howard Schultz is Jewish. One social media user complained: He was reminded of Nazi-era signs saying “don’t shop at Jews.”
But there is another reason for the movement against Starbucks: just days after the Hamas massacre in Israel on October 7, the in-house union Starbucks Workers United posted the slogan “Solidarity with Palestine” on Platform X. Among them was a photo of a bulldozer operated by Hamas breaking the fence in the Gaza Strip. It was this excavator that cleared the way for Hamas terrorists who killed nearly 1,200 people in Israeli territory.
Starbucks immediately condemned the Hamas terrorist attack and distanced itself from Workers United’s statements. A few days later, Starbucks filed a lawsuit in US court to prevent the union from using the Starbucks name and logo. Result: Activists expressing solidarity with Palestine started a massive uproar against the company. The hashtag #boycottstarbucks has been used millions of times on TikTok.
The situation in Berlin had worsened a week ago. Attendees of the anti-Israel rally, along with about 9,000 other protesters, gathered in front of a Starbucks branch and chanted “Shame on you.” Some people insulted the guests and gave them the middle finger.
This was not an isolated incident. At Checkpoint Charlie, a young woman wearing a headscarf spat on a guest as he was leaving a Starbucks branch.
Andreas Babler should have kept this in mind. There are many other corporations that present themselves as targets of anti-capitalist criticism.