A TikTok user named Serge (@flowerboyserge) posted a viral clip of him lying down and suggesting that folks shame individuals who decide to frequent Starbucks and McDonald's as a means of protesting Israel and standing in solidarity with the terrorist group Hamas and the Palestinian people.
Serge says in his video: "I need you guys to start shaming people when you see them in a Starbucks or if you see them in McDonald's. Like if you're in a mall or some establishment or even just passing a Starbucks walking and you see people just like look at them." The TikToker then gives a demonstration as to the type of side-eye he's talking about.
"And just size them and be like, like I'm telling you shame people. Shaming works, shame work, cause for some people they're just not gonna get it with the you know blood money thing. Cause some people literally just don't have empathy. Some people just don't care. So just shame them."
Serge continues to argue why he believes shaming individuals who shop at Starbucks and McDonald's is ultimately a good idea: "Be like eww, you got Starbucks? You see a co-worker or a friend with Starbucks just look at them be like eww, be like you're supporting blood money? Shame people. I bet you it'll work too."
He adds in a caption for the video: "There are some things people should be ashamed about. This is one of them."
Throngs of people on TikTok and other social media platforms have urged folks to stop purchasing Starbucks products due to the chain's support of Israel.
Starbucks, however, has responded to longstanding claims that it provides funding to the Israeli government and Israeli Defense Force on its website. The coffee chain highlighted that since it's a publicly traded company it must disclose all of its financials and that any assertions that it hands money to the country are "absolutely untrue."
McDonald's has donated free meals to Israeli soldiers in the IDF along with 50% discounts off meals following the October 7th surprise attack launched against civilians in the country by the terrorist organization Hamas. McDonald's Malaysia has also donated money to Gaza residents, aiding Palestinians in need.
Despite being an organization predicated on violence and the genocide of anyone who is Jewish, Hamas was democratically elected in Palestine in 2006. Numerous analysts have pointed out that Hamas has zero interest in allowing Israel and its citizens to operate as a state peacefully, and that the group promotes the use of suicide bombings and civilians as human shields. Hamas has also rejected each and every single two-state solution proposal in the region.
Israel has come under heavy criticism on social for retaliating against the terrorist organization which intentionally embeds itself in areas with civilians as a means of attempting to escape attacks from the IDF. The October 7th attack resulted in the kidnapping of 240 Israeli civilians, including babies, children, and the elderly; between 1,200 and 1,400 died in the attack.
Some of the victims were foreign nationals visiting from other countries, like 23-year-old Shani Louk, who was one of many people attending a music festival who were ambushed by Hamas and killed.
A number of political leaders have called out a rising trend of Antisemitic sentiments being disseminated over TikTok as one of many reasons to ban the social media application. Notably, Republican Presidential hopefuls Ron DeSantis and Chris Christie agree that TikTok was intentionally designed by the Chinese Communist Party as a means of brainwashing US citizens into espousing certain political views, i.e. sympathizing with a terrorist group that rapes concertgoers, kidnaps babies, and murders the elderly.
However, TikTok has responded to these claims, stating that the application isn't intentionally promoting pro-Palestine content over posts that support Israel: reps from the application have mentioned that teens using the app just so happen to be more supportive of Palestine.
According to the BDS Movement, there are a number of corporations that are being actively targeted on social media for supporting the state of Israel in addition to Starbucks:
- Domino's Pizza
- Pizza Hut
- Papa John's
- Burger King
- Soda Stream
The group also published a list of "Pressure (NON-BOYCOTT) targets" as well, i.e. large-scale companies the movement isn't urging people to ban them completely but to pressure them to condemn Israel. Among them are: