BNC Statement

McDonald’s Israel supports Gaza genocide while McDonald’s Malaysia bullies Palestine solidarity activists: Boycott McDonald’s

January 3, 2024

The BNC calls for escalating global boycott of McDonald's until it ends ties with Israeli franchisee for supporting genocide, and Malaysian franchisee for bullying solidarity activists.

McDonald’s franchisee in Malaysia, owned by the Saudi company, Lionhorn Pte Ltd, has filed a SLAPP or “shock-and-awe” lawsuit against BDS Malaysia, a solidarity group advocating justice and equality for Palestinians, accusing it of “defamation” and seeking damages of over $1 million. McDonald’s Israeli franchisee has supported the Israeli occupation forces with free McDonald’s meals during the ongoing genocide of 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, prompting the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest Palestinian coalition that leads the global BDS movement, to endorse the organic, grassroots-led worldwide boycott campaigns targeting McDonald’s to end complicity in apartheid Israel’s crimes. 

The Malaysian government has strongly endorsed South Africa’s recent application to the International Court of Justice against Israel for violating the Genocide Convention in Gaza, as has the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Dozens of UN experts have described the humanitarian situation in Gaza as “apocalyptic,” warning of a “genocide in the making,” as have hundreds of international law scholars, including genocide experts, and a senior UN human rights official

Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, parent and holding companies can be held liable for failing their due diligence duty in cases when their subsidiaries, franchisees, or any other suppliers within their value chain are implicated in grave human rights abuses and violations of international law.

The actions of a McDonald’s franchisee cannot be isolated from the company’s worldwide operations. McDonald’s Corporation, Headquartered in Chicago, US, owns the McDonald’s brand and is responsible for ensuring that its franchisee is not involved in conduct that damages McDonald's reputation, including any association of the brand with grave human rights violations. 

Putting it simply, associating the McDonald’s brand with the Israeli army and its crimes against the Palestinian people cannot go without consequences for the company!  

Since apartheid Israel launched its genocide in Gaza almost three months ago, organic grassroots campaigns to boycott corporations that support this crime against humanity have grown worldwide. The campaign against McDonald’s is one such organic campaign that became popular when the brand’s Israel franchisee donated meals and beverages to Israeli military personnel committing the genocide against Palestinians in Gaza and promoted this extremely provocative and racist form of complicity on their social media channels. The BDS movement, which did not launch this campaign, endorsed and encouraged it

McDonald’s Malaysia is now bullying and intimidating BDS Malaysia -- which has not launched this campaign either -- because popular support for boycotting McDonald’s is growing in Malaysia and everywhere else. Instead of pressuring its parent company, McDonald’s Corporation, to terminate its shameful franchise agreement in Israel, McDonald’s Malaysia and its Saudi owner are desperately trying to silence voices of peaceful solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle in Malaysia. We cannot let this pass. Let’s show McDonald’s what grassroots boycotts can do.

The BNC calls on all supporters of Palestinian rights to escalate the global boycott of McDonald’s until the parent company:

January 3, 2024


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