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McDonald’s Comes Under Fire For Giving Free Meals To Israeli Soldiers

October 15, 2023
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McDonald’s is facing heat after it announced that the fast-food chain would provide free meals to Israeli soldiers following the ongoing war against Hamas. McDonald’s Israel announced on Instagram that it was giving thousands of free meals to hospitals and troops in the Israel Defence Forces. McDonald’s Israel wrote, “Update that already yesterday we donated 4000 meals to hospitals and military units, we intend to donate thousands of meals every day to soldiers in the field and in drafting areas, and this is beyond a discount to soldiers coming to restaurants. We opened 5 restaurants that were open only for this purpose,” as per a report in Newsweek.

Many users criticised this move by the restaurant. One user said, “McDonald’s providing free meals to the IDF, (the military forces of Israel). We should stand by our principles and take actions that align with our beliefs. Lets boycott McDonalds bcz Supporting companies that are involved in conflicts is wrong, especially when it comes to the loss of innocent lives.” “If McDonalds giving free meal to Israel Defense Force and not to those [affected] in GAZA then I think all Muslims around the GLOBE should boycott McDonalds,” commented another person.

Some users also praised the fast-food chain for their support of Israel. “Well done McDonald’s Israel,” said a person.

It is to be noted that the official account of McDonald’s Israel has since then become private.

Following the food giant’s move to provide free food to the Israeli troops, protests erupted in Lebanon on October 13. A McDonald’s in Spinneys, Sidon was attacked by Palestinian groups, as per a report in Lebanon-based 961. No injuries were reported during the same. In a statement, McDonald’s Lebanon said, “McDonald’s Lebanon affirms that the position of other franchisees in other countries and territories does not represent the views or positions of McDonald’s Lebanon in any way and McDonald’s Lebanon is not involved whatsoever in the actions taken in other markets outside of Lebanon. We are committed to our nation and its people with the utmost respect and solidarity.”

Meanwhile, McDonald’s Oman took to X, formerly Twitter, and expressed their support for Gaza. On Saturday, they wrote, Oman stands with Gaza. They also added that the company has donated $100,000 towards the relief efforts for people in Gaza. They said, “McDonald’s Oman (Al Daud Restaurants LLC) affirms our humanitarian sympathy for our brothers and sisters in Gaza, and we do not compromise on our commitment to the highest of principles and values that thrives in our community. From this ground of sound values and principles, we are pleased to announce that McDonald’s Oman has donated $100,000 towards the relief efforts for the people of Gaza, in coordination with the concerned official authorities.”

“In conclusion, we stand with Gaza in these difficult times. Let us all combine our efforts and support the community in Gaza with everything we can. We ask God Almighty to protect our beloved country and all Arab and Muslim countries from all the evil and hate,” they added.

McDonald’s UAE also took to social media and added that they were “deeply saddened by the events in the region” and they are donating AED 1 Million to Emirates Red Crescent, towards their “Tarahum for Gaza” campaign. Similarly, the fast-food chain in Turkey announced a “humanitarian aid” of $1 million “to the people of Gaza who are victims of war, especially women, children and the elderly.”

Maousherji Catering Company, the local representatives of McDonald’s Kuwait, announced their support for their “brothers and sisters in Palestine, especially in Gaza”. They said that they reject any and all claims questioning their Arab or our Kuwaiti identity. “What the McDonald’s operator did in Israel was an example of such individual action; it was not a global decision, nor was it approved by any of the other local operators, especially those in our region,” they said.

McDonald’s Kuwait also said that they are donating $250,000 to the Kuwait Red Crescent Society to help with relief efforts in Gaza.

As per AFP, since fighting erupted on October 7, at least 2,215 Palestinians including 724 children have been killed in Gaza, Hamas officials said. At least 1,300 people have been killed in Israel over the same period, the majority of them in Hamas’s attack last week, according to Israeli officials.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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