To Starbucks, or not to: that's the question. Starbucks Israel rumors spur CEO to set the record straight, once and for all!
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has spent years denying that he sends millions of dollars to support Israel and its army. [Getty Images]
Coffee giant Starbucks has been forced once again to deny rumors that the company or its chief executive financially support Israel and its army.
'This is absolutely untrue,' the company said in a statement in response to the swelling hoax that the coffee chain and CEO Howard Schultz donate millions of dollars to support the Israel Defense Forces.
'Rumors that Starbucks or Howard provides financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army are unequivocally false,' the Aug. 5 statement continues.
'Starbucks is a publicly held company and as such, is required to disclose any corporate giving each year through a proxy statement.'
Starbucks closed its last store in Israel in 2003 amid 'operational challenges,' denying the decision had a political slant.
Just three years later, there were already rumors — and calls for worldwide boycotts — claiming that the coffee chain was pumping millions into Israel's coffers, CBS reported.
Starbucks first commented on the 'false rumors' in 2006.
The company then posted a statement about its operations in the Middle East in 2010, but was forced to run it once again this week.
Spokesman Jim Olson told CNN Money that the company re-posted the statement because of an 'uptick in false rumors out there about Starbucks and the Middle East.'
Starbucks operates some 600 stores in the Middle East and North Africa, employing more than 10,000 people.
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