Coffee stories: Public’s Behaviour towards Starbucks during the Genocide in Gaza

Starbucks is amongst the many Multinational Corporations (MNC) that has felt the heat of boycott due to its passive-aggressive response towards the matter.

A genocide in Gaza, a decline in revenue, Starbucks is amongst the many Multinational Corporations (MNC) that has felt the heat of boycott due to its passive-aggressive response towards the matter.


Palestine, a nation of never-ending bravery, is now under a magnifying glass after its re-occupation by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) back on October 7th. But what does this conflict have to do with a coffee shop that originated in Seattle? Well, like many conflicts, there will be two opposing sides, and in this case, those on the right side of history and those that condemn genocide. Starbucks has never explicitly mentioned its stance on the conflict. However, two days after the re-escalation of the conflict, Starbucks Workers United published a now-deleted post declaring its “Solidarity with Palestine!” in which Starbucks replied with a lawsuit of copyright infringement and disagreed with “the views expressed by the Workers United.” Initially, Starbucks was never on the boycott list, but after its apparent disdain for being associated with Palestine’s side, its name now appears on the BDS Movement List.

Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions—otherwise known as BDS— is a Palestine-led movementthat calls for a boycott of Israeli and international companies in complicity with the current and-or has happened genocide. So, does boycotting work? The simple answer is yes. Boycotting is a form of nonviolent protestthat anyone can participate in; it lets people put their funds where their values are. It also acts as an economic tool used against those that hold the economic cards, which, in this scenario, are MNCs. In the case of Starbucks, analysts have stated that there has been a decline among its customers in the US, and it is not limited to that of its home nation.

An income recession has also happened in China, the company’s second-largest market, and on the wholescale, the company has lost approximately USD 11 billion or around 9.4% of the company’s total value.


Ireland—Europe’s most pro-Palestine nation— alongside Spain and Norway has joined the list of countries to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state in May of this year. But this decision has never been a surprise. Since the re-escalation of the genocide, Ireland has always been adamant about its pro-Palestine stance, and some argue that it is due to its past of occupation and famine. Dublin City’s Councillor Cieren Perry stated, “Why do so many of us support Palestine?… There’s a historical link between Ireland and Palestine as we had the same oppressor (the British Empire) and the same occupation plan.”However, the pro-Palestinian stance does not stop within the government. The general public of Ireland has organized protests to pressure other European countries and show its solidarity. It has also participated in the boycotting of companies found in the BDS Movement list, going as far as putting stickers on products made by said companies.

Due to the contradicting stances of the coffee shop and its customers, Starbucks has suffered a declining income in the nation, and some speculate that Starbucks has changed its name in the Dublin Airport to continue selling while avoiding its already set reputation as an alleged pro-Israel company. The rumours started after the official Dublin Airport account on X posted about their new cafe, Vista Coffee. However, people noticed that prior to this post, Vista Coffee had a near to nil online presence and to make matters worse, the menus displayed were that of Starbucks. In response to the online uproar, Dublin Airport spilled the (coffee) beans, saying that Vista Coffee is a temporary placeholder, as the Seattle-born coffeeshop’s contract has just ended with the airport, but basically, Starbucks is still profiting because they are using its beans and other stuff. Starbucks has also yet to clarify its alleged pro-Israel stance on


In times of conflict and where public perception can severely alter the course of a company’s income, Starbucks has become one of the most affected Multinational Corporations (MNC) by the social and economic ramifications of its alleged pro-Israel statements and blatant ignorance towards the genocide in Gaza. The boycott of Starbucks shows the efficacy of an economic protest against these companies and how, if done correctly, the pressure put upon these companies can force them to change stances to prevent further income free-fall. As the world watches the genocide in Gaza and does its own parts to help, the role of MNCs in addressing such conflicts remains crucial in the long-term implications and global reputation for its company.

Nadya Ulyana Ridwan
Nadya Ulyana Ridwan
An 18-year-old student currently majoring in International Relations, Nadya is ambitious to do her part in bettering Indonesia. Participating in multiple student associations and volunteering on many topics, Nadya explores the many ways to contribute to the world.