Opinion

Coca-Cola Executive Supports Boycott Of Israel And Sanctions Against The Jewish State

Ronn Torossian CEO, 5W Public Relations

Zahi Khouri, the CEO of Coca-Cola Palestine, founder of the Palestinian National Beverage Company and exclusive holder of the Coca-Cola franchise in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, is once again on the war-path against Israel. Coca Cola’s partner in the region – who supports a boycott of Israel, and sanctions against the only democracy in the Middle East — has issued an open letter to Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX), Chairwoman, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, & Related Programs attacking Israel.

In Khouri’s letter to Hutchinson, he blames the violence on Israel’s building in the settlements – conveniently changing his tune from a 2012 Washington Post op-ed, where he opined that Israel did not make the desert bloom. Instead, thanks to a deal struck with the British viceroys of Mandate Palestine, it made away with a land, a set of institutions and, indeed, a culture that was not its own.”

The reality of the conflict in the Middle East is Palestinian leaders refuse to accept any Jewish presence in the region – as Khouri states, they believe Israel stole the land.  They are wrong. Khouri’s letter claims that of the Palestinian Arabs killed in the recent round of conflict in Israel, The vast majority of these casualties were innocents: killed or injured at the hands of racist Jewish settlers and Israeli soldiers under a ‘shoot to kill’ order that placed between the crosshairs any Palestinian man, woman or child suspected of being “a threat” to Israelis.”

He’s wrong — those who were killed attacked Israelis. Note: The best way to not get injured or killed in Israel is to not throw rocks, Molotov cocktails, or attempt to stab a soldier. As Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted in 2011 in a speech to a joint session of Congress, “Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, only Israel’s Arab citizens enjoy real democratic rights. I want you to stop for a second and think about that. Of those 300 million Arabs, less than one-half of one-percent are truly free, and they’re all citizens of Israel!”

Khouri’s open-letter justifies Palestinian Arabs in East Jerusalem building without permits (which is against the law anywhere in the world), and goes on to claim that Netanyahu was inciting “Israeli Jews (and Jews around the world) to commit acts of violence against Palestinians.”

Khouri justifies President Abbas’ declaration at the UN refusing to comply with the Oslo accords which sparked the continued attacks against Israel. In constantly blaming Israel, he ignores the reality, as Netanyahu has declared, If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more ‎violence. If the Jews put ‎down their weapons ‎today, there would be no ‎more Israel’‎”

Khouri’s open letter pales in comparison to his September 2014 op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel, where he noted that the “non-violent efforts of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) advocates make sense as a means to force Israel to recognize that the occupation is not cost-free.”  Similarly, in The Hill a few months ago, Khouri condemned the fact that “this Congress is now legislating against the Palestinian nonviolent action of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) as a means to secure Palestinian freedom.”

Advocating a boycott, Coca-Cola’s partner suggests that “countries, like those in the European Union, could enforce their own laws against doing businesses with countries that violate human rights.”

No Coca-Cola executive anywhere in the world has called for a boycott of any other nation – it’s limited to the Jewish State.

The Coca-Cola Code of Business Conduct for franchisees states, “because The Coca-Cola Company is incorporated in the United States, our employees around the world often are subject to U.S. laws.” Boycotts due to race and religion are forbidden according to American law.

Today, there’s a page on the Coca-Cola Web site where the conglomerate declares that none of their profits are transferred to Israel and there’s no Coca-Cola production on “disputed territory,” yet the CEO of Coca-Cola Palestine is not aware that Israel is not being boycotted.

A senior executive of Coca-Cola is openly espousing racism and hatred against the Jewish State, a staunch American ally – which should cause concern on many levels for Coca-Cola.

Ronn Torossian is a Public Relations executive, and author of best-selling PR book “For Immediate Release.”