Photo Credit: YouTube screen capture
From a Coca-Cola Co. video entitled "Palestinian Business 2014"

Earlier this week we learned that the CEO of the Cola-Cola franchise in the Palestinian Authority, Zahi Khouri, has publicly called for a boycott of Israel, in violation of Coca-Cola’s policy and recent Congressional amendments to trade laws.

While the expected the response from Coke would be to encourage Khouri to put a lid on it, the company’s response was somewhat different.


In response to complaints lodged by outraged consumers that Coca-Cola’s Arab-American-Palestinian partner supports the economic and legal warfare method of BDS (Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel) Movement, Coca-Cola deployed an executive to defuse the situation.

But a little research revealed that the Coke executive who responded, Michael Goltzman, is himself harshly and outspokenly critical of Israel. And not only that, but his response belies actions taken by Coca-Cola on Khouri’s divisiveness.

First, in response to an email sent by a consumer deeply distressed over what she referred to as the “toxicity” of Coca-Cola’s Palestinian Arab bottling partner, the following email was sent:

From: Michael Goltzman Subject: FW: Dear Mr Kent – Khouri is toxicr` Date: June 17, 2015 at 4:22:43 PM EDT To: “*@#!#$@&%$” Cc: Susan Gambardella , Clyde Tuggle , Hamish Banks , “Ann L. Moore”

Ms. *@#!#$@&%$ Via email: *@#!#$@&%$

Dear Ms. $*#,

Thank you for your email to Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company, regarding a media article about Zahi Khouri, the Coca-Cola Palestinian bottler.

Please understand that Mr. Khouri’s comments represent his own personal opinions, and they do not in any way reflect the views of The Coca-Cola Company. The Company does not have any preference for, favor or fund any religious or political causes.

Thanks to our local production with local employees, local ingredients and a local distribution system, we are pleased to have our beverages refreshing communities in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. And since 1966, we have been proud to have the Central Bottling Company as the Company’s Israeli partner.

If I can answer any further questions for you, please do not hesitate to contact me at or 404-661-9075 (mobile).

Thank you, Michael Goltzman

Michael Goltzman Vice President, International Government Relations & Public Affairs The Coca-Cola Company Email:

Goltzman retweeted and favorited tweets that were highly critical of Israel, such as this one:

In addition, in a video created by Coca-Cola, Mr. Khouri, Coke’s Palestinian Arab-American partner, admits to having a bottling plant which proudly practices Apartheid:

We must be, I can imagine, the only bottling company – maybe in the world – which has only one nationality among its staff, and, uh, that we are all Palestinians.


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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email:


  1. it's funny. Coke was always filthy in their bottling. we had to look in the bottle for dead bugs and dirt before we drank any. cans are harder so we just stopped drinking their dirty soda and switched to pepsi. much better. and clean.

  2. Shivesh Mishra, I have stopped buying and drinking Coke even when I go out! If the restaurant I go to has only Coke, I drink water. I will simply not drink a Coke or Cike product until the get rid of the Evil Palistinian who has called for a boycott of Israel. I also have urged all Amricans as well to oin in this boycott!

  3. Crazy. About 50 years ago, Pepsi (illegally) honored the 1st Arab Boycott of Israel and only Coca Cola nobly sold here, and not for much economic benefit either as the total number of Israelis then was only about 2.5 million. It took Jews many years after Pepsi corrected its policy for myself and many others to finally "forgive" them. Now Coke is caving in to the Arab/Progressive Jew-hatred and Pepsi is standing up to it?!! I'm sorry to see Coke taking that cursed path. B'bye C.C..

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