Current Events, Israel, Judaism, Loser List

Loser List #2: Safwat Higazi (and anyone else who thinks Queen Esther is in the Starbucks logo)

Queen Esther? More like Queen Vashti...
Queen Esther? More like Queen Vashti...

First wine, now coffee.

An Egyptian cleric is calling on the Arab world to boycott world renowned coffee supplier Starbucks because he believes that it’s logo originates from the image of Queen Esther, the character from the story from the Jewish holiday of Purim.

I don’t know why targeting beverages with “Israeli/Jewish ties” has become the popular thing of late but this has to be one of the most moronic things I’ve ever read or heard  in my life.

This isn’t something new –  accusations of CEO Howard Schultz (also Jewish) giving funds to Israel have been prevalent.

Of all the queens in the history of time, how the heck did this cleric come up with Queen Esther looking like the Starbucks logo? When I read the story I nearly died of laughter at the notion of this comparison.

Rather than post the ignorant You Tube video of the cleric ranting on these claims (which include him completely twisting the story of Purim), I’ll fight claims with facts by posting the official response from Starbucks so anyone who’s interested in finding out the real deal can go there. There may be Starbucks all over the Arab world but you won’t find one in Israel. (That’s because every three blocks there’s a coffee shop in Israel…)

What also bothered was where I found the story: the front page of the Toronto Star. I don’t regularly read the paper, but since the National Post doesn’t come out on Sunday, I usually pick one up just cause I want to read a paper.

Since then, I’ve researched the story and many of the publications that posted a similar story did so back in the middle of March, when Purim was about to take place. I know the Sunday newspaper usually has long-ended, feature-like stories, but something tells me that The Star may have been short on content (sure…). As much as newsworthiness plays a role in determining story lengths and where they should be going, I’m really curious about the paper’s choice to place the story on the front page. (It was probably done to get people like me to talk about it… so their choice was a good one in that sense). And it’s no secret that The Star doesn’t have much nice things to say about Israel. I won’t mention the middle east correspondent who wrote the story, but I will point out two things. Although the words of the cleric came first in the story, he still gave another side of the story, citing reps from Starbucks and an Israeli research centre, who deny the claims and the lack of impact a boycott because of the claims.

But I will call the writer out on a bad choice of wording when discussing the You Tube video:

“The cleric, whose four-minute polemic may be viewed on line on You Tube goes on to summarize the Old Testament story of Esther, a beautiful virgin who is manipulated by her cousin Mordecai to win the heart and hand of the Persian king Ahasuerus (believed to be Xerxes I) without revealing to him that she is a Jew.”

Summarize? Really? That’s not very objective… maybe a spot on the Loser List beside our cleric could do some help….

New: Oakland Ross and Safwat Higazi
Old-timers: Sid Ryan & CUPE Ontario, David Ahenakew, NDP Ontario, NION (Not in Our Name), George Galloway.

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