The Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center civil rights group has urged the head of the Coca-Cola Company, Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent, to cancel the beverage giant’s affiliation with Coca-Cola franchisee in the West Bank and Gaza Strip Zahi Khouri over the latter’s support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
Khouri, who also holds U.S. citizenship, authored a September 2014 op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel calling on European Union nations to prohibit companies from conducting business with Israel as “a means to force Israel to recognize that the occupation is not cost-free.”
Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, head of Shurat Hadin, stressed that Coca-Cola is a publicly held company whose Code of Business Conduct requires it to comply “with all applicable trade restrictions and boycotts imposed by the U.S. government.”
“Coca-Cola also must abide by U.S. laws that prohibit companies from participating in any international boycott not sanctioned by the U.S. government,” Darshan-Leitner said.
Zionist Organization of America National President Morton A. Klein said Monday, “Zahi Khouri’s anti-Semitic remarks confirm him as an opponent of the Jewish State of Israel’s existence, one who seeks to ostracize, damage, and ultimately overcome Israel by means of the BDS campaign of continual, progressive delegitimization of Israel so as to compel it to make untenable concessions to a Palestinian movement that has no intention of living in peace with Israel. This is unacceptable and indeed in conflict with Khouri’s role as CEO of a Coca-Cola subsidiary.”