Poor Howard Schultz. No matter how hard the Starbucks head tries, he can’t seem to avoid being in the news as he is hated in so many parts of the world. Here in the UK he is hated because it is fashionable to spurn American globalization. I will never forget a “Jews for Justice for Palestinians” activist screaming at me shortly after 9/11, saying “American enterprises clogging the British high street” contributed to the hatred that caused the terror attacks. I reminded her that if KFC, Woolworths, McDonalds, Domino’s, Subway, and Starbucks closed all at once there would be about 500,000 Brits on the dole.
Schultz is hated by Anglo-Muslims because he is an alleged “mega-Zionista.” He is hated by the Guardianista intelligentsia of Primrose Hill, who were successful in banning Starbucks and its baristas from their high street. He is hated by the mullahs of the Middle East who have demanded the coffee chain be closed down because Queen Esther appears in its world-renowned logo. My esteemed journalistic colleague and respected historian Melanie Phillips, who does not suffer fools gladly and has an unparalleled instinct for a major news story, thinks the Queen Esther issue is more than just Islamist propaganda.
Now that the novelist Howard Jacobson has published a screed alerting the world to the explosion of anti-Semitism in Britain, which our mild-mannered chief rabbi calls a “tsunami,” and now that Zionist-hatred has metamorphosed into violence on the streets of London, I thought I would examine the process of hate-mongering evolving into mini-Kristallnachts.
First, some very recent background on Howard Schultz:
He met his newest nemesis in New York in February when he came up against Peter Mandelson, the twice-disgraced-but-back-in-government British Labour peer who said — as some of you are probably saying at this very moment — “Who the f **k is Howard Schultz?” because Schultzy dared to criticize Britain’s handling of the global financial crisis. His lordship did not know that the man slamming the disastrous credit meltdown in Britain was the creator of Starbucks and tore into him with merciless venom. How dare this upstart Jewish coffee grinder criticize the government! (The shameful £1 million CEO pension of Royal Bank of Scotland’s Fred “the Shred” Goodwin was amongst the many disgraceful shenanigans unfolding in the city of London when Howard dared to lash out at Lord Mandy.)
I happen to be a fan of Schultz. I think he had great courage when way back in 2002 he warned a synagogue congregation in California that anti-Semitism was on the rise and that American Jewry had better get real. (After Durban I and 9/11, I felt there was a seismic shift in the general perception of Israel and of Jewish influence in the world that allowed people like British MP Tam Dalyell to criticize Bush and Blair for surrounding themselves with a “cabal of Jews.” The irony of this, of course, is that Peter Mandelson was one of the “Jewish nasties” he listed, though technically Mandy, despite being from a Jewish family line, is not; but he might need to turn to Schultz one day in search of support and solidarity.)