+2 votes
in General Factchecking by Master (4.2k points)

"Bria Miller, a fifth-year architecture student from Virginia Beach, Virginia, was one of the SJP members leading the boycott. 

“We are boycotting Starbucks and McDonald’s. Starbucks specifically has loudly announced their support for Israel basically,” she said, referencing the statement made by Starbucks chief partner officer, Sara Kelly. "

by Newbie (380 points)
edited by
The claim that Starbucks explicitly supports Israel or funds the Israeli military is misleading. Starbucks has filed a lawsuit against Workers United in federal court in Iowa. The legal action comes after the group "Starbucks Workers United," affiliated with Workers United, posted a pro-Palestine message on X following a Hamas attack in Israel, as reported by AP News. The article from The Hilltop reports on a boycott initiated by Howard University students, attributing the boycott to a statement made by an unaffiliated worker-run account called Starbucks Workers United. Starbucks' executive vice president, Sara Kelly, clarified that the company does not endorse the claims made by the worker-run account and explicitly stated a different position in her statement. The connection between Starbucks and the former CEO Howard Schultz's investment in cybersecurity for Israel is also clarified, emphasizing that the company itself was not involved. Regarding the lawsuit, Starbucks is indeed suing Workers United for "trademark infringement" after the group posted a pro-Palestine statement on X. However, the lawsuit does not provide evidence of Starbucks funding the Israeli military, and there is no public record of Starbucks financially supporting any entity affiliated with Israel for war efforts. The ongoing boycott against Starbucks is based on the company's reaction to the pro-Palestine post, not on evidence of funding the war. In conclusion, the claims suggesting explicit support or funding by Starbucks for Israel are mostly false and lack substantial evidence.
by Genius (41.9k points)
@tevonphomphakdy thanks for the fact-check. Next time, rather than comment on the claim, use the "answer" feature so that your fact-check can be voted up or selected as the best answer. Also, don't forget to add URLs to your sources.

3 Answers

+5 votes
by Apprentice (1.6k points)
selected by
Best answer

This claim is mostly false. These claims stem from a lawsuit, where, according to AP News, Starbucks is suing Workers United in federal court in Iowa after the “Starbucks Workers United,” a group affiliated with Workers United, posted a pro-Palestine post on X following an Hamas attack in Israel. In the article it says that Starbucks claimed that the post angered hundreds of customers and has damaged their reputation. Starbucks, a known anti-union corporation, is suing Workers United for “trademark infringement” and wants them to stop using a logo that closely resembles their own. This lawsuit does not show any evidence of Starbucks funding the Israeli military, nor is there any public record of Starbucks sending money to anyone in affiliation with Israel to support the war efforts happening in Gaza. However, there is a large boycott happening right now to stop supporting Starbucks because they are believed to be pro-Palestine based on their reaction to the post from Starbucks Workers United, not from funding the war based on the article linked. A student who helped lead the boycott said, “Starbucks specifically has loudly announced their support for Israel basically,” in a quote from The Hilltop , referencing the cease and desist letter to Starbucks Workers United. 

by Apprentice (1.5k points)
I agree with your claim. I appreciate that you included where these claim originated from, meaning the lawsuit. Also that you incorporated the reasoning behind the boycott being specifically Starbucks reaction to the post on X. This is  well written and gives background on what led up to the immense setback to their company. Involving the “trademark infringement” opens a new topic of conversation on what is allowed for union workers to use. Also mentioning that there has been no evidence of Starbucks being affiliated with spending money to Israel is important to include as it creates a direct and prominent line between the relationship of Starbucks and Israel.
by Apprentice (1.2k points)
I totally agree with this claim. Your fact-check was thorough as you included where the articles got their information from and checked to make sure that the sources they used were credible. Good job!
by Apprentice (1.5k points)
This fact check provides a thorough examination of the situation surrounding Starbucks and the claims of support for Israel. The boycott against Starbucks seems to be based on the company's reaction to a pro-Palestine post, rather than any evidence of funding for the war efforts.  I appreciate the research done on Starbucks Workers United as I don't have much familiarity with the Union so I actually ended up learning a lot from your fact check!
+11 votes
by Novice (980 points)

I would say that this title is very misleading, and that it's mainly false in that Starbucks as a company has never explicitly claimed to be funding Israel or being in support of them. In their source, The Hilltop, a black student-run news source from Howard University, they claim that people are boycotting a statement made on X from an account called Starbucks Workers United, an account run by a union of Starbucks workers. This account is unaffiliated with Starbucks; it is explicitly worker-run, as said at the bottom of their website. On the website they also explain how it's a place where workers come together to talk about their struggles working at Starbucks with low wages and different work shift hours, so this lets me know that what they are talking about isn't being stated by the company as a whole.  These claims made by the account can be shot down because Sara Kelly, executive vice president of Starbucks, has come out and claimed that people are tying these claims made by the Worker's United account to the company. She later released a statement claiming the opposite of what the union announced in her Message from Sara. The part about them funding Israel is also misleading, as it was deemed that the former CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, invested $1.7 Billion in cybersecurity for Israel, which led a lot of people to tie them together when the company itself was never a part of it.

Exaggerated/ Misleading
by Novice (920 points)
I completely agree with your answer to this claim. During my research, I was unable to find some of the information you included. Most notably, I failed to find evidence of Starbucks' investment in Israel. However, you were able to find Howard Schultz's investment in the Israeli cybersecurity firm Wiz. I do wish that you had supplied which source you had received that information from, but I was able to find similar claims in my own research. Although I was able to find evidence of Schultz's investment in the firm, I was not able to determine the exact amount, so the inclusion of your source would be helpful.
by Novice (830 points)
I agree with this claim. I did some research through the Starbucks website and could not find any information that verifies the claim that they are giving money to Israel. I did find a number of smaller missions they have dedicated themselves to and a number of grants they offer; however, there is no evidence to support the claim made here. It is true that this rumor has lead to a boycott of Starbucks but that is all that this is. It is a false statement.
by Newbie (380 points)
I completely agree with your analysis. Your breakdown of the misleading title and clarification that Starbucks, as a company, hasn't explicitly supported or funded Israel aligns with my understanding. Your insights into The Hilltop being a student-run source and the boycott originating from Starbucks Workers United, an unaffiliated worker-run account, add crucial context. Emphasizing Sara Kelly's response and Howard Schultz's personal investment in cybersecurity for Israel effectively counter the initial claim. Overall, your comment provides a concise and clear dissection of the misleading elements in the article.
by Novice (610 points)
The article is very misleading. The source claims that since Starbucks sent a cease and desist to the union group for posting pro Palestine that they must be sending money to Israel. The author of this article is making wild assumptions which are proven to be not true.
by Journeyman (2.2k points)
Your claim is very thorough, the analysis you got from the Hilltop article was useful in explaining how this is a student organization and how the boycott started from the Starbucks Workers United which has no affiliations with the actual Starbucks corporation.
by Novice (910 points)
Overall, your fact-check is well-reasoned, supported by evidence, and effectively communicates the nuances of the situation to counter the misleading aspects of the claim.

using the evidence of the CEO of Starbucks funding Israel cybersecurity and the account that made the claim being of a Starbucks workers account and not the company itself shows how this claim was blown up into a misleading light. this is a great fact-check
by Apprentice (1.2k points)
Your fact-check is very well thought-out and researched. I also the viability of Fortune, the source for Howard Schultz's investing and found it to be a credible, non-bias source.
by Genius (41.9k points)
The boycott is so strong worldwide, but it is based on what evidence? I wonder how a global boycott could be achieved based on little to no proof of Israel/Starbucks ties. Interesting!
by Genius (41.9k points)
Based on the fact-check explanation, wouldn't you rate it as false?
+1 vote
by Novice (920 points)
This article is primarily exaggerated, and the headline is misleading. The Howard University students are boycotting Starbucks after Sara Kelly, the executive vice president of Starbucks, sent out a message claiming that the Starbucks Workers United post on X had nothing to do with Starbucks as a company. The post stated, "Solidarity with Palestine" which according to AP News, Sara Kelly viewed as misleading to Starbucks' customers. In the statement on one.starbucks.com, a website for Starbucks union employees, Kelly condemns acts of terror and violence while mentioning how people could mistakenly tie the union's post to Starbucks. Regarding Starbucks' funding of the Israeli military, little to no sources can be found to support this claim. The majority of the reliable articles pertain to issues of Starbucks' $11 billion loss since the start of the boycotts relating to Kelly's response to the union's post.
Exaggerated/ Misleading
by Apprentice (1.5k points)
I agree with you completely this article is exaggerated and misleading. To do appreciate that you have provided information on where you found the information. Something that I would suggest in the further is to add links to this post to help with double checking thud sources that were used to help with your statement. I also think that it would be best to incorporate links on what sources you found that supported the claim of Starbucks funding the Israeli military because I was not able to find any. This would allow for having clearer communication on what is actually happening. Another fact that could be incorporated into this post is that in 2003 Starbucks closed stores due to “operational challenges.” This would make the distinction between Starbucks and Israel as background information.

Source: https://www.starbucks.com.kw/en/starbucks-middle-east?fbclid=IwAR3nM6gWBDTw2X54ipqm0LOImk-_uf_Xq1Gdbc2ldJKmyGCd5FDtTEmWIAU_aem_AStgS97tl2hPhC6iqs0JRBU3LOde5BtXs5I0QiASIapSBwrOTcHv0fWo8M7sFE6dB70

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