By Jack Phillips
Coca-Cola appeared to delete a paragraph on its website that supported Black Lives Matter, coming as Black Lives Matter drew controversy for backing Hamas.
“Earlier this month, Sprite announced a $500,000 contribution to the Black Lives Matter Global Network in a social post committing action in the fight for racial justice. On June 28, the brand debuted a new TV commercial during the 2020 BET Awards telecast showcasing Black America’s resilience, excellence and optimism. The 60-second spot titled ‘Dreams Realized’ emphasizes Sprite’s commitment to making young Black creators’ dreams a reality and to inspire the next generation to do more and dream bigger,” an archived version of the Coca-Cola-owned Sprite website page says.
A current version of the web page omitted that paragraph, suggesting the beverage giant deleted it. It appears changes were made to the web page on Oct. 20 and Oct. 21, according to Archive.org records.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Coca-Cola, which has not addressed the matter publicly, for comment on Sunday.
It came after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) made reference to the Coca-Cola website and tied its support of Black Lives Matter to backing Hamas, a U.S. State Department-designated terrorist group that carried out multiple attacks on Israel earlier this month that left hundreds of civilians—including children—dead. Israel has responded by embarking on a bombing campaign of Gaza, where Hamas operates.
“CAUGHT RED-HANDED. Coca-Cola deletes its support for BLM. One screenshot is of Coca-Cola’s website before BLM supported Hamas parachuting into a concert to kill Israeli civilians,” Mr. Cruz wrote on social media website X. “The other is from this morning. Editing your website is not enough. Americans DEMAND an apology.”
On his podcast, “The Verdict,” he criticized Coca-Cola and other companies days before that for their support of Black Lives Matter in the wake of the Hamas attacks.
Last week, he also made reference to the corporate support in another post on X: “For every corporate donor who sent millions to BLM—including Amazon, Apple, BlackRock & Bank of America—do you regret supporting such a virulently antisemitic organization?”
“Do you support Black Lives Matter’s Marxist agenda supporting Hamas? Are you antisemites? Do you support that we need to end Israel?” the Texas senator asked.
It came after a Black Lives Matter group wrote on X—days after the Hamas attacks—that it backed the group and Palestinians.
“As Black people continue the fight to end militarism and mass incarceration in our own communities, let us understand the resistance in Palestine as an attempt to tear down the gates of the world’s largest open-air prison,” BLM Grassroots wrote on Oct. 9. “As a radical Black organization grounded in abolitionist ideals, we see clear parallels between Black and Palestinian people. For lasting peace to come, the entire apartheid system must be dismantled.”
Around the same time, a Black Lives Matter chapter in Chicago posted a more supportive backing of Hamas. It stated, “I stand with Palestine,” and included an image of a parachuting individual with the Palestinian flag. That post was later deleted.
There have been reports and video footage of Hamas terrorists using parachutes and other airborne devices in a series of surprise attacks on Oct. 7.
After deleting the post, the group wrote that “we sent out messages that we aren’t proud of. We stand with Palestine and the people who will do what they must to live free. Our hearts are with the grieving mothers, those rescuing babies from rubble, who are in danger of being wiped out completely.”
Outside of the corporate world, some U.S. colleges have also grappled with students’ support of the Palestinians and Hamas. In one prominent example, the Wexner Foundation, a nonprofit founded by billionaire Leslie Wexner, broke ties with Harvard University after students at the Ivy League college circulated a letter signed by students saying that Israel was entirely responsible for the attacks this month.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Israeli warplanes again struck targets across Gaza as well as two airports in Syria and a mosque in the West Bank allegedly used by terrorist groups. Israel has traded fire with Lebanon’s Hezbollah on a near-daily basis since the war began, and tensions are soaring in the West Bank, where Israeli forces have battled terrorists in refugee camps and carried out two airstrikes in recent days.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told troops in northern Israel that if Hezbollah launches a war against Israel: “It will make the mistake of its life. We will cripple it with a force it cannot even imagine and the consequences for it and the Lebanese state will be devastating.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.