After the video of Marwan Barghouti breaking his hunger strike went viral, Pizza Hut Israel released an ad poking fun at the Fatah leader. However, Palestinian social media users quickly condemned the ad and called for a boycott of the chain.
Watch: Barghouti breaks the hunger strike for some cookies and a chocolate bar
Over the past few days, many jokes and pictures have surfaced on social media in light of the footage showing Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti breaking his hunger strike. Among those who poked fun at him was none other than Pizza Hut Israel, which released an ad using a screenshot from the footage. However, the ad quickly drew criticism from Palestinians.
Pizza Hut Israel uploaded a picture of Barghouti secretly eating to its Facebook page with the caption: “Barghouti, if you are already going to break the strike, wouldn’t a pizza be better?” Pizza Hut Israel even edited the picture, placing a Pizza Hut box on the floor of his cell and a piece of pizza in the sink. Shortly after the ad was uploaded, Palestinian social media users began criticizing the pizza chain. Many even called for a boycott of Pizza Hut. “Pizza Hut is taking advantage of the hunger strike to make more money,” one user wrote. “Shame on you for poking fun at prisoners who are fighting for their freedom on empty stomachs,” wrote another user.
The ad Photo Credit: Facebook/Channel 2 News
Barghouti’s son, who is behind the online campaign to raise awareness for the hunger strike, criticized the ad: “We are very disappointed that the international chain is behind such a disgusting act and we will continue to fight until the chain at least apologizes.”
Eventually, Pizza Hut issued an apology on its Lebanese franchise’s Facebook account. “Pizza Hut International apologises for any offence caused by a recent post on Pizza Hut Israel’s Facebook page,” the post read. “It was completely inappropriate and does not reflect the values of our brand. The local franchisee in the country removed it immediately and the relationship with the agency that posted it was terminated, and we truly regret any hurt this may have caused.”