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Israel's 7-Eleven stores keep moral support alive for troops in Gaza

The chain store has been giving discounts to Israeli soldiers and urging the public to show them support.

MalaysiaNow
3 minute read
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7-Eleven stores in Israel have put up messages in support of the regime's military operation in Gaza and offering discounts to soldiers. Photo: Instagram
7-Eleven stores in Israel have put up messages in support of the regime's military operation in Gaza and offering discounts to soldiers. Photo: Instagram

Convenience chain store 7-Eleven in Israel is among the biggest supporters of the current military campaign in Gaza, in a trend of local franchise licensees of global brands expressing moral support for the Zionist regime.

Just after the Hamas attacks on Oct 7, 7-Eleven offered a 50% discount to soldiers recruited for the military operations in Gaza, which have so far killed close to 20,000 Palestinian civilians.

"We're all one. We want to send reinforcements to all the fighters. And to the security and rescue forces that are at the frontline," said an excerpt from a social media post by 7-Eleven Israel.

The post was similar to McDonald's Israel's announcement of free meals for soldiers tasked in Gaza, a move which helped galvanise a boycott campaign in the Muslim world against the popular fast food franchise.

Apart from special discounts and moral support, 7-Eleven stores in Israel have also put up billboards outside their branches, urging Israelis to send messages in solidarity with the regime's campaign against Palestinians.

"Share with us in the comments or send us a private message, and we will show it live on the screens at all our branches!" said a message posted last month, urging the public to send drawings, songs and greetings "to those at the forefront".

7-Eleven began operations in Israel only early this year, with plans to open some 400 more outlets.

The messages may however backfire on 7-Eleven stores worldwide, just as McDonald's Israel's pro-war stand sparked a hugely popular boycott campaign across the Muslim world and some Western capitals which have seen mammoth pro-Palestine rallies in recent weeks.

MalaysiaNow is trying to reach 7-Eleven for a response.

Since Israel's launch of its bombing campaign in Gaza, a boycott movement has led McDonald's in many Muslim countries to distance themselves from their counterparts in Israel, saying they operate independently.

Among them is McDonald's Malaysia, which has taken pains to convince local consumers that the company has nothing to do with the conflict in Gaza.

But despite a social media campaign as well as top executives embarking on a PR drive including meeting Islamic religious leaders, the boycott campaign against McDonald's appears to have succeeded, resulting in usually busy outlets nationwide standing nearly empty even during peak hours.

A similar fate befell Starbucks Malaysia, whose cafes across the country have taken the brunt of an aggressive boycott campaign.

The coffee company has seen its shares plunging, resulting in a total loss of some US$12 billion blamed on poor sales, workers' strikes in addition to the boycott campaign.

In Malaysia, Starbucks and 7-Eleven come under Berjaya Food and Berjaya Retail respectively, both owned by Berjaya Corporation, the conglomerate linked to prominent billionaire Vincent Tan.

Since October when the Gaza conflict started, Berjaya Food's share price has fallen 17%.

Last month, Berjaya Starbucks acknowledged its sales had been impacted by the "conflict in the Middle East", expressing hope that they would return to normal.

Earlier this year, 7-Eleven Malaysia named PKR man Farhash Wafa Salvador as its new chairman.

Farhash, the former political secretary to Anwar Ibrahim, who still holds strong clout with the prime minister, replaces Tan's son Robin, in an appointment that has drawn criticism over government links with big businesses.

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