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How pro-Palestine boycott movement is fuelling the fast food high street cancellation sweeping social media as yobs launch attacks on McDonald’s and Starbucks franchises ‘over their support for Israel’


Gangs of pro-Palestinian thugs smashing windows at Starbucks and releasing mice in McDonald’s are being whipped by an anti-Israeli boycott movement spreading across social media. 

BDS Movement – which stands for boycotts, divestments and sanctions – has been urging supporters to put ‘pressure’ on companies that are perceived as being supportive of Israel. 

It has attractive intense criticism for its use of inflammatory terms like ‘apartheid’, ‘genocide’ and ‘settler colonialist’ to describe Israel, while groups and individuals associated with the movement have been accused of antisemitic rhetoric.

An Instagram post last week named McDonald’s as one of the chains it was targeting, alongside a host of other high street names. 

A McDonald’s in Keighley, West Yorkshire, was struck last night by yobs draped in Palestinian flags who shoved their way inside before releasing stick insects. Video of the apparent aftermath appears to indicate that its windows were also smashed. 

Meanwhile, protesters have released mice into three McDonald’s branches in Birmingham, with some filmed calling for a ‘boycott’ of the chain. It appears to have been targeted after an Israeli franchisee offered discounts to soldiers and security forces.

Ramy Shaath

Omar Barghouti

BDS was founded in 2005 by Palestinian activist Ramy Shaath and Omar Barghouti

It is an umbrella organisation linked to dozens of affiliated groups around the world, each of which come up with their own list of brands to boycott

It is an umbrella organisation linked to dozens of affiliated groups around the world, each of which come up with their own list of brands to boycott

TUESDAY, STARBUCKS IN KEIGHLEY: A gang of pro-Palestine vandals smashed the windows of a Starbucks in Yorkshire

TUESDAY, STARBUCKS IN KEIGHLEY: A gang of pro-Palestine vandals smashed the windows of a Starbucks in Yorkshire

BDS was founded in 2005 by Palestinian activist Ramy Shaath and Omar Barghouti, a graduate of Columbia University in the US, and controversially claims to model itself on the South African resistance movement to Apartheid 

It is an umbrella organisation linked to dozens of affiliated groups around the world, each of which come up with their own list of brands to boycott. 

Why are McDonald’s and Starbucks being targeted amid the Israel-Hamas war? 

Last month, Starbucks sued its union, Starbucks Workers United, after the labour organization posted a since-deleted message on X expressing solidarity with Palestinians. 

The union group shared a message reading ‘Solidarity with Palestine’ above an image of a bulldozer operated by Hamas tearing down a fence on the Gaza strip, according to some news organizations who saw the post.

‘We unequivocally condemn these acts of terrorism, hate and violence, and disagree with the statements and views expressed by Workers United and its members,’ Starbucks said in a post. ‘Workers United’s words and actions belong to them, and them alone,’ the company added. 

The action triggered calls to boycott Starbucks.

In Israel, a local McDonald’s operator has been offering discounts to soldiers, security forces and others affected since Hamas’ October 7 assault, according to Israeli authorities.

McDonald’s Israel has given out 100,000 free meals, according to posts on social media.

This prompted a consumer backlash and messages from other franchises distancing themselves from the move.

Franchise groups in Kuwait, Pakistan and other countries issued statements confirming that they did not share ownership with the Israeli franchise. Others also noted that they had made financial donations to aid those in Gaza.

‘In regard to the news that McDonald’s in Israel was donating meals. We affirm that it was an individual decision on their part,’ McDonald’s franchise in Saudi Arabia also said in a statement.

‘Neither global McDonald’s nor us nor any other country had a role or relationship with that decision, neither directly nor indirectly.’

Some of these groups are targeting Starbucks after the company threatened to sue its labour union for copyright infringement after it posted a ‘Solidarity with Palestine’ message on social media using its logo. 

While it mainly draws support from social media, the BDS Movement has attracted some high profile backers including bestselling author Sally Rooney. 

A major win for the movement came in 2021 when Unilever-owned ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s announced it would stop selling its products in the ‘occupied Palestinian territories’. 

However, the brand insisted it was not part of the BDS movement because it was continuing to sell ice cream in Israel. 

Earlier this year, Sam Smith cancelled his show in Israel following BDS campaigning. However, the organisers insisted the event was only called off ‘due to unforeseeable technical and logistical problems’. 

Elvis Costello cancelled concerts in Israel in 2010 in protest at the state’s treatment of Palestinians, while Lorde did the same in 2017 after receiving an ‘overwhelming number of messages and letters’ from pro-Palestine activists. 

In 2018, Lana Del Rey caved in to pressure to suspend a performance at a kibbutz because Palestinians would not have been able to watch. 

The vandalising of fast food shops in Britain comes amid a pro-Palestinian backlash over Israel’s war against Hamas, the terror group that slaughtered more than 1,400 Israeli civilians and kidnapped more than 220 more on October 7.

Over 8,000 Palestinians, including more than 3,000 children have been killed as a result of airstrikes and incursions by the Israel Defence Force, according to the Hamas-run Health Authority. 

A spokesman from McDonald’s Corporation said it was ‘dismayed’ by attacks on its stores. 

It told MailOnline: ‘We are dismayed by the disinformation and inaccurate reports regarding our position in response to the conflict in the Middle East. 

‘McDonald’s Corporation is not funding or supporting any governments involved in this conflict, and any actions from our local Developmental Licensee business partners were made independently without McDonald’s consent or approval.

‘Our hearts are with all of the communities and families impacted by this crisis. We abhor violence of any kind and firmly stand against hate speech, and we will always proudly open our doors to everyone.

‘We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our people in the region while supporting the communities where we operate.’

Meanwhile, shocking footage shows a group of men clad in black storming into a McDonald’s in Small Heath last night.

Chanting ‘Free, Free Palestine’ and waving the red, white, green and black Palestinian flag, one of the protesters steps forward and throws a large clear box containing white mice at staff behind the service counter.

In another attack in Keighley, vandals smashed the windows of a McDonald's

Video shows the glass panes shattered around the restaurant after thugs targeted the franchise branch

WEDNESDAY, MCDONALD’S IN KEIGHLEY: In another attack, vandals smashed the windows of a McDonald’s

TUESDAY, MCDONALD'S IN SMALL HEATH: A third McDonald's has been hit by a pro-Palestine mice attack after a masked gang hurled dozens of rodents at staff whilst chanting and waving the Palestinian flag

TUESDAY, MCDONALD’S IN SMALL HEATH: A third McDonald’s has been hit by a pro-Palestine mice attack after a masked gang hurled dozens of rodents at staff whilst chanting and waving the Palestinian flag

TUESDAY, MCDONALD'S IN SMALL HEATH: Shocking footage shared on social media shows a group of men clad in black entering the fast food chain before one steps forward and catapults the mice

TUESDAY, MCDONALD’S IN SMALL HEATH: Shocking footage shared on social media shows a group of men clad in black entering the fast food chain before one steps forward and catapults the mice

TUESDAY, MCDONALD'S IN SMALL HEATH: The terrifying incident - the latest in a slew of attacks - shows mice then scrambling around the restaurant as chants continue to bellow from behind the camera

TUESDAY, MCDONALD’S IN SMALL HEATH: The terrifying incident – the latest in a slew of attacks – shows mice then scrambling around the restaurant as chants continue to bellow from behind the camera

TUESDAY, MCDONALD'S IN PERRY BARR: This is the terrifying moment a pro-Gaza activist shouts 'free Palestine' before emptying a box full of mice into a McDonald's

TUESDAY, MCDONALD’S IN PERRY BARR: This is the terrifying moment a pro-Gaza activist shouts ‘free Palestine’ before emptying a box full of mice into a McDonald’s

The group then clap and repeatedly shout ‘f*** Israel’ before fleeing the restaurant as fast as they can.

Video of the Starbucks attack shared to social media shows two hooded men violently banging against the Keighley cafe’s glass with hammers.

As they make their way around the establishment they can be seen attacking every individual glass pane.

A spokesperson for Starbucks Keighley said: ‘We are aware of the incident at our Keighley store, which remains closed. The safety of our partners (employees) and customers is our highest priority and we will continue to work closely with local police as investigations continue.’ 

Elsewhere in Keighley, black-clad vandals threw a box of stick insects at staff and workers in the McDonald’s kitchen.

Video which emerged this morning shows what appears to be the same McDonald’s covered with smashed windows. 

Also yesterday, a masked gang of pro-Palestine activists hurled rodents at a third McDonald’s restaurant in Birmingham while chanting and flag-waving in protest at the fast food chain’s alleged support of Israel.

At another chain in Birmingham, a pro-Gaza activist shouted ‘free Palestine’ before emptying a box full of mice into a McDonald’s. 

Video shows a man wearing a mask walking towards Perry Barr McDonald’s in Birmingham holding a box of mice.

The protester then walks through the doors of the fast food chain and shouts ‘free Palestine’, before dropping the box containing the rodents on the floor.

Shrieks from workers and customers can be heard in the background, as the protester, followed by another man filming, are seen running away as fast as they can.

In the footage of Tuesday’s attack one of the workers is seen holding a wooden broom as they look on in shock at the mice scurrying along the floor as another tries to manoeuvre a plastic bag underneath the box. 

A child’s voice can then be heard saying: ‘that is a lot of rats’ as the man filming continues to react in shock, adding: ‘look at that’. 

Later, another voice can be heard asking: ‘Did somebody just chuck that in?’ to which the man filming replies: ‘Yeah’. 

TUESDAY, MCDONALD'S IN PERRY BARR: Shocking footage shared on social media shows a man clad in black and wearing a mask walking towards McDonald's in Birmingham holding a box of mice

TUESDAY, MCDONALD’S IN PERRY BARR: Shocking footage shared on social media shows a man clad in black and wearing a mask walking towards McDonald’s in Birmingham holding a box of mice

TUESDAY, MCDONALD'S IN PERRY BARR: The protester then walks through the doors of the fast food chain and shouts 'free Palestine', before dropping the Tupperware containing the rodents on the floor

TUESDAY, MCDONALD’S IN PERRY BARR: The protester then walks through the doors of the fast food chain and shouts ‘free Palestine’, before dropping the Tupperware containing the rodents on the floor

TUESDAY, MCDONALD'S IN PERRY BARR: In other footage shared online from the same incident, restaurant workers can be seen desperately scrambling to contain the dozens of rodents

TUESDAY, MCDONALD’S IN PERRY BARR: In other footage shared online from the same incident, restaurant workers can be seen desperately scrambling to contain the dozens of rodents 

Last night, police raided the family home of a convicted fraudster accused of involvement in one of the McDonald’s mice stunts. 

Officers in riot gear stormed a house in Birmingham looking for conman-turned-TikTok influencer Aamir Khan. The 32-year-old was not there at the time and is now a wanted man.

Aamir posted a video onto his TikTok account showing the mice release at the StarCity entertainment complex near Aston, Birmingham.

Aamir Khan was convicted of a £500,000 number plate scam in 2018 in which he and his brother Zahid stole the rights to high-value personalised car registration plates and sold them on for tens of thousands of pounds.

Ringleader Zahid fled to Dubai before he was convicted and now leads an extravagant lifestyle in Dubai.

Speaking from the Middle East via WhatsApp, the fugitive told MailOnline that police raided his elderly parents home in Hall Green in Birmingham last night.

They forced entry and later apologised after leaving empty handed, according to Zahid.

Last night, police raided the family home of a convicted fraudster accused of involvement in one of the McDonald’s mice stunts. 

Officers in riot gear stormed a house in Birmingham looking for conman turned TikTok influencer Aamir Khan. The 32-year-old was not there at the time and is now a wanted man.

Aamir posted a video onto his TikTok account showing the mice release at the StarCity entertainment complex near Aston, Birmingham.

Police raided the family home Aamir Khan (pictured), a convicted fraudster in connection with a pro-Palestine stunt where mice were thrown into McDonald's restaurant

Police raided the family home Aamir Khan (pictured), a convicted fraudster in connection with a pro-Palestine stunt where mice were thrown into McDonald’s restaurant 

Officers in riot gear stormed a house in Birmingham on Tuesday night looking for conman-turned-Tik Tok influencer Aamir

Officers in riot gear stormed a house in Birmingham on Tuesday night looking for conman-turned-Tik Tok influencer Aamir 

Mr Khan's family home in Birmingham, where police conducted a raid on Tuesday

Mr Khan’s family home in Birmingham, where police conducted a raid on Tuesday

Aamir Khan was convicted of a £500,000 number plate scam in 2018 in which he and his brother Zahid stole the rights to high-value personalised car registration plates and sold them on for tens of thousands of pounds.

Ringleader Zahid fled to Dubai before he was convicted and now leads an extravagant lifestyle in Dubai.

Speaking from the Middle East via WhatsApp, the fugitive told MailOnline that police raided his elderly parents home in Hall Green in Birmingham last night.

They forced entry and later apologised after leaving empty handed, according to Zahid.

MailOnline has contacted BDS for comment.  



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