Saudi McDonalds Fight Boycott by Pro-Palestinian Campaign

Published November 28th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The Saudi branches of McDonalds, the giant US fast food chain, have launched a campaign to help the Palestinians and stop people boycotting their produce, according to a report by BBC. 

The Saudi franchise holders have announced this week, that during the month of Ramadan, they will be donating 26 cents from each meal bought to Palestinian children's hospitals, the report said. 

In an unprecedented way, anti-American sentiments have risen in the Gulf states, leading to wide-scale positive responses to calls for boycotting US products, as punishment for American bias towards Israel. 

The AFP said that McDonald's, among other American fast food chains in the kingdom, has been suffering a slump following calls from leading Gulf clerics for a boycott of US products in protest at Washington's support for Israel. 

An Egyptian respected cleric, Youssef Qardawi, who lives in Qatar, has issued a fatwa (religious judgment) prohibiting eating American burgers and Pizza, and drinking Pepsi and Coca Cola. 

Crusaders in Qatar and the UAE distributed a list of American products during the last few days that carries the message: "Each dollar spent buying an American product is transformed into a bullet to kill our brothers in Palestine,” said the BBC.  

According to the news service, McDonald’s decision was “a politically canny marketing move as much as a well-meaning act of charity.”  

But the General Manager for the McDonalds franchise holder in Jeddah, Abderahhman Ali Reda, told the BBC that in the case of McDonalds in Saudi Arabia, such a boycott would hurt his Saudi employees more than any US interests.  

The McDonalds campaign has the support of one of Saudi Arabia's royal princes. 

Prince Mishal Bin Khalid, who heads one of the license holders, has been quoted as saying that McDonalds' US headquarters has been informed, said the BBC report. 

He expects the campaign to raise over $100,000 during the next four weeks -- (Several Sources) 

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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