McDonald’s Malaysia Sues Pro-Palestinian Group Over Boycott Calls

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mcdonald's malaysia sues pro palestinian group over boycott calls

McDonald’s Malaysia has filed a lawsuit against a pro-Palestinian group for calling for a boycott of companies allegedly supporting Israel. The fast-food chain is seeking $1.3 million in damages for alleged defamation.

The civil suit against BDS Malaysia, a part of the global Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, was filed on Friday. McDonald’s Malaysia said in a statement that it “does not support nor condone the current conflict in the Middle East” and that the boycott calls were based on “false allegations”.

BDS Malaysia denied the defamation claim and said it would “vigorously defend” itself in court. The group has been urging Malaysians to boycott Western brands, including McDonald’s, KFC and Zara, that it claims are “complicit with Israeli atrocities towards Palestinians”.

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The boycott campaign was triggered by Israel’s military offensive in Gaza in October, which killed more than 21,000 people, mostly civilians, according to the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza. The Palestinian Islamist militants also launched bloody attacks on Israel, killing about 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

The conflict sparked widespread protests and solidarity movements across the world, especially in Muslim-majority countries like Malaysia, where public opinion is strongly pro-Palestinian. Malaysia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel and has condemned its actions in Gaza as “inhumane” and “barbaric”.

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