2017-05-12 17:00:41 UTC
Arabs on social media are calling for a boycott of popular Pizza Hut after
one of its Israel branches posted a Facebook advert said to “mock”
Palestinian hunger strikers.
Pizza Hut has apologized for the now deleted post, saying it was “completely
inappropriate and does not reflect the values of our brand” and added that
“the relationship with the agency that posted it was terminated”.
Israeli prison authorities had earlier released an video of Marwan
Barghouti – who is leading a mass hunger strike in Israeli prisons –
allegedly secretly eating cookies. Mr Barghouti’s wife has said the prison
service footage was “fake”.
But Pizza Hut used a screen grab of the video with a Photoshopped pizza box
in the cell. The post in Hebrew read: “Barghouti, if you are going to break
your strike, isn’t pizza the better choice?”
Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have been refusing food since 17 April to
protest against Israeli jail conditions, relying on an intake of saltwater.
Last week, social media users started an online “Salt Water Challenge” to
draw attention to the strike.
In the latest protest some said Pizza Hut was “making fun” of Palestinian
prisoners, with several using English and Arabic hashtags to call for a
boycott of the franchise.
“It’s a Palestinian cause but it concerns every Arab and Muslim. Pizza Hut
has branches in several Arab countries,” one Gaza-based user tweeted.
Another addressed Pizza Hut directly saying: “Thought it’s a ‘smart’
advertisement [and] would be a hit? Well, yes it is! BDS says HI!”
While Pizza Hut was quick to distance itself from the ad, some said they
"loved the advert" and that it was a "great move".