About 25 young activists belonging to the Union of Lebanese Democratic Youth (ULDY) demonstrated outside a Beirut Starbucks Monday evening to protest the Seattle-based coffee shop's ties to Israel. Members handed out leaflets and shouted slogans outside the store, catching the attention of passers-by and virtually ending all traffic heading in for a drink. A handful of police officers guarded the entrance of the store while two army trucks unloaded about a dozen soldiers across the street in anticipation of violence.The interesting part of this article isn't that there was yet another Starbucks protest. It isn't whether the protesters believe that the Starbucks mermaid is Queen Esther.
"It's not just Starbucks that we're demonstrating against," 25-year-old ULDY member Hassan Zeitouny said. "It's a demonstration against all that send aid to Israel, especially those that give money to Israelis to return back to Israel."
ULDY - a leftist organization with ties to the Lebanese Communist Party - organized a similar demonstration outside the Hamra Starbucks during Israel's devastating 22-day assault on Gaza in January. The group is also active in the larger campaign to boycott other American products and companies which it accuses of supporting Israel such as CocaCola and Phillip Morris.
The activists held signs up to the cafe's windows with one displaying a drawing of a Starbucks' cup overflowing with blood while another carried a mock-menu offering "coffee to kill my family," and "espresso to knock down my house."
Cheers were sung as each customer left the shop. After the last customers exited quietly, the cafe was left empty except for a few discouraged-looking employees sitting around a table drinking their own product.
The interesting part is that the reporter from the major English-language newspaper in cosmopolitan, modern Lebanon completely believes all the lies about Starbucks giving its profits to the IDF and Israeli causes.