McDonald’s sues anti-Israel BDS movement

The fast food giant’s Malaysia franchise is demanding $1.3 million for loss of income after boycott call due to its supposed support of Israel.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

McDonald’s Malaysia is suing the local BDS movement for $1.3 million over its call for a boycott of the fast-food chain due to its supposed support for Israel in its war with the Hamas terror organization in Gaza, Reuters reported Saturday.

The news agency said that according to court papers dated December 19, parent company Gerbang Alaf Restaurants Sdn Bhd alleged that the anti-Israel group incited the public through social media to boycott their eateries by falsely claiming that McDonald’s is somehow tied to Israel’s “”genocidal war against Palestinians in Gaza.”

These “false and defamatory statements” has led not only to a loss of income, but even job loss due to closures of some restaurants or shortened hours at others, Gerbang Alaf claimed.

Although identified with the iconic American brand due to its name, McDonalds Malaysia is wholly owned by Lionhorn Company Pte Ltd of Saudi Arabia

In a Friday statement, the company said that it “does not support nor condone the current conflict in the Middle East.”

“While we understand and respect that the act of boycotting is an individual decision, we believe that it should be based on facts and not false allegations,” it added.

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Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country that is harshly anti-Israel and has no diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. Some two week ago, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced that all Israeli cargo ships would be banned from his country’s ports due to “Israel’s actions that ignore basic humanitarian principles and violate international law through the ongoing massacre and atrocities against Palestinians.”

Ibrahim also had no problem supporting the Hamas massacre of 1,200 people during its October 7 invasion of Israel which sparked the current war. Speaking last month to his legislature, he said, “Whatever happened is the legitimate right and struggle of the Palestinian people.”

Malaysia’s previous, longtime leader, Mahathir Mohamad, had often gone on tirades against Jews and Israel, both while in power and afterwards. As recently as July on a visit to the UK, he again minimized the Holocaust while contending that Israelis were acting like “Nazis” against the Palestinians, and claimed that “Jews are ruling the world by proxy.”

According to a Kan News report last year, Malaysia also actively helps Hamas, by giving dozens of Palestinian students training in cyber-warfare.

The BDS movement had called for other Western-branded companies in Malaysia to be boycotted for “being complicit with Israeli atrocities,” including Kentucky Fried Chicken and Zara. It had acted in similar fashion after then-U.S. president Donald Trump decided to move the American embassy to Jerusalem in late 2017.

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The antisemitic group “categorically denied” the allegations that it had slandered McDonald’s and said it would fight the charges in court.