Michigan Man Harassed For Wanting To Open Israeli Burger Franchise
Sam Zahr, a Lebanese American franchise owner of several branches or the Burgerim gourmet burger restaurant, has announced that he will delay the opening of a storefront in Dearborn, Michigan after he and his family were harassed and threatened.
Burgerim, founded in Israel and now based in California, already has franchises across the United States, with Mr. Zahr planning to open two more in neighboring towns in Michigan. The other two will open as scheduled later this month, but the heightened backlash in the city of Dearborn has delayed this location.
Problems quickly arose as threatening Facebook messages poured in. A marketing stand in front of one of his other locations offering free burgers was also destroyed overnight.
The backlash was spurred on by the Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) movement and its local supporters.
One activist, Amer Zahr (of no relation) told a local news outlet, “anyone has a First Amendment right to boycott whatever they wish to boycott and to call for boycotts. A boycott, of course, comes with the potential of economic damage.”
Sam Zahr countered, “I’m not sending money overseas to anybody… I’m going to pay my staff, to pay for my food costs, my labor… There’s no link to make sense of all this.”
All this comes the same week as the United States House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan resolution condemning the BDS Movement against Israel.