On Sunday, Reuters reported that according to court documents, McDonald’s Malaysia in suing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Malaysia movement for inflicting damage on its business by posting a series of social media posts which linked the fast food franchise to the “genocidal war against Palestinians in Gaza” it claimed was being waged by Israel.

The news agency reported that according to a writ of summons dated December 19th which it had seen, Gerbang Alaf Restaurants (GAR), the parent company which controls the McDonald’s franchise in Malaysia, sued BDS Malaysia for using “false and defamatory statements,” to promote a series of boycotts against its franchises which reduced the company’s profits and forced it to conduct job cuts. GAR is suing for 6 million ringgit ($1.31 million) from the movement.

In a statement released on Friday McDonald’s Malaysia confirmed it has initiated court proceedings against BDS Malaysia, noting that is it doing so to protect its “rights and interests.” in Malaysia

BDS Malaysia meanwhile issued a statement in which it said it “categorically denies” having committed any impropriety, and it expects the matter will be sorted out by the courts.

Following the October 7th surprise attack on Israel which killed an estimated 1,200 Israelis, Israel declared war on the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza. Since declaring war, the Israeli offensive in Gaza has killed over 21,000 Palestinians within Gaza, according to numbers provided by the local health ministry.

As result, many activist groups, particularly in majority Muslim countries, have attempted to organize boycott campaigns against businesses with ties to Israel, while demanding an end to the military actions of the Jewish state. In addition to McDonald’s, there have been other boycott campaigns against Coca-Cola, Starbucks, KFC, Nestle, and IBM.

At the same time, Houthi rebels operating out of Yemen have attempted to inflict a blockade on shipping through the Red Sea, by launching attacks on vessels passing off the coast of the country. They say they are only attacking ships with known ties to Israel, or which are on their way to, or coming from ports in Israel, as a show of solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza.

The Malaysian government has come down firmly on the side of the Palestinians, with the office of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim issuing an announcement reversing a 2002 decision earlier this month to allow Israeli-flagged ships or vessels bound for Israel to dock or unload cargo in Malaysian ports.

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