McDonald’s CEO admits pro-Palestine boycotts have hurt fast food chain

McDonald's. Editorial credit: IB Photography /

The CEO of McDonald’s has admitted that the fast food chain has experienced a “meaningful business impact” in the Middle East and beyond as a result of boycotts during Israel’s massacre of the Palestinians.

Calls for a boycott of the American chain have been strictly implemented by Muslims, across the Muslim world especially, after McDonald’s Israel provided thousands of free meals to Israeli occupation forces following the October 7 attacks.

In a LinkedIn post, Chris Kempczinski said: “Our hearts remain with the communities and families impacted by the war in the Middle East. We abhor violence of any kind and firmly stand against hate speech, and we will always proudly open our doors to everyone…

“I also recognize that several markets in the Middle East and some outside the region are experiencing a meaningful business impact due to the war and associated misinformation that is affecting brands like McDonald’s. This is disheartening and ill-founded. In every country where we operate, including in Muslim countries, McDonald’s is proudly represented by local owner operators who work tirelessly to serve and support their communities while employing thousands of their fellow citizens. That local community connection is the genius of the McDonald’s System.”

Earlier this week, the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign  officially called for a boycott of the brand.

The move came after McDonald’s Malaysia, which is backed by a Saudi firm, sued the Malaysia BDS group for $1.3m (£1m), citing “false and defamatory statements” that it said had hurt its business.

BDS said: “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…

Sign up for regular updates straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated on the latest news and updates from around the Muslim world!

“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!..

“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.”

Add your comments below

Previous articleRedbridge parent group slams ‘discriminatory’ Palestine teacher advice
Next articleWe must boycott the Paris Olympic Games