Pro-Palestinian NGO calls on restaurants to boycott Coca-Cola
Every time you drink it [Coca-Cola], it’s like a bullet in a Palestinian. We’re boycotting guys! – Daoud, Meat & Eat owner
An NGO known for “campaigning for a free Palestine and a liberated Masjid Al-Aqsa” is calling on UK restaurants to boycott the American multinational company Coca-Cola.
Friends of Al-Aqsa (FoA) has published “a letter for restaurants explaining that @cocacola has a factory on land stolen from Palestinians”.
The Leicester-based organisation encouraged its 530k followers on Facebook and 108k followers on Instagram: “If your fave restaurant or any restaurant you dine at sells Coca-Cola, please tag them to make them aware of Coca-Cola complicity in the occupation of Palestine.”
Restaurants move to boycott Coca-Cola and Pepsi
A number of restaurants have taken the initiative in ditching Coca-Cola including Meat & Eat in Wolverhampton whose co-owner Daoud made the dramatic announcement through a viral TikTok video.
Holding a glass bottle of Coca-Cola in an alleyway opposite his restaurant, Daoud began the video by stating: “Imagine this is a bullet, an Israeli bullet,” before suddenly smashing the item against the wall and ending: “Every time you drink it, it’s like a bullet in a Palestinian. We’re boycotting guys!”
Although having been viewed almost 230k times, Daoud told FtLion that despite the video having “got a lot of backlash”, he has entirely removed the drink from his premises.
The Farmhouse in Coventry has also made the decision that not only will it be boycotting Coca-Cola but Pepsi too “due to their association with the current genocide being inflicted on the Palestinian people by the Israeli regime”.
The business further added that while it will be using its social platform to “raise awareness and encourage other businesses to join us”, it encouraged: “Together, as a unified ummah, we have the power to make a difference and contribute our part in saying ‘enough is enough’.”
The restaurants Mr T’s and My Peshawar in Birmingham jointly announced that they will no longer serve Pepsi to “show  our continuous support for the Palestinian people”.
They declared on social media: “It has come to our understanding that the company is a big supporter of the Israeli regime and we will not be a part of this.
“A number of years ago, we ceased the selling of Coca-Cola in all our restaurants for this very reason and will now do the same with Pepsi,” before adding: “We all need to try and play our part however small – in support of our Palestinian brothers and sisters IA [Insha’Allah, God-willing]. No coke, No Pepsi, No Sprit[e], No Fanta, No Appletizer.”
Kung Pao Panda was praised for revealing: “Thank you for tagging us inshallah we will be removing coke from our menu very soon.. we are working on it… inshallah,” with Ganis confirming: “[W]e not selling coca cola since two years [sic].”
Long-term, viable alternatives to Coca-Cola and Pepsi?
But some restaurants have told FtLion of the challenge of finding an affordably viable alternative (see this article for alternative drinks), including Meat & Eat’s Daoud.
“At the moment, I’ve replaced Coca-Cola with a short-term cola replacement. And although it is expensive at £18.89 for a 24-pack, the most important thing for me is to support my brothers and sisters in Palestine in their hour of need, while I find a long-term brand partner,” he said.
Although Ganis said it was open to correction, it said that according to research it had done: “We selling pepesi since that time, and we done the research that soda-stream not own by them and as pepesi co bought by soda stream and they keep them factory in same place as the time they bought it [sic].”
Kung Pao Panda informed FtLion that it was in the process of finding a substitute: “Spoke to a company today which we have worked with previously, so inshallah let’s see how things go.”
Meanwhile, the owner of a long-established restaurant in west London’s Southall, who wishes to remain anonymous, revealed that he too is now in the process of looking for reliable drinks brands to replace both Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
The restaurateur appealed: “Our moral compass doesn’t allow us to stock and sell a product that actively advocates, encourages and finances genocides across the world. I have consistently looked for products that could be bought in as a substitute, but have been unable to overcome the hurdle owing to inconsistent supply chains.
“We always start a boycott trend but are unable to go the whole hog, and this may have something to do with a lack of serious alternatives, leading us to go back to our previous guilty pleasures. I appeal to our community to start bringing to light independent/ ethical brands that they maybe using and we all can benefit from.”